Chelsea transfer news: Leaving 'the club of his dreams' was all the convincing Jose Mourinho needed to sign Pedro from Barcelona

Mourinho secured the £12.1m acquisition of Pedro from Barcelona despite intense interest from Manchester United

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Jose Mourinho said today that Chelsea's new signing Pedro's readiness to walk away from one of the greatest clubs in the world in Barcelona was all the reassurance he needed that the Spanish winger's ambition burned as bright as ever.

Speaking for the first time since the £21.1m signing of Pedro from Barcelona, Mourinho said that the 28-year-old had left the club of his life to join Chelsea – and that was a much more difficult obstacle to overcome than any potential rivalry from Manchester United for his signature.

Mourinho said: “I only want to beat United on the pitch, if that's possible. I don't even want to go in that direction. Our job here is not to try to get a player that another club wants. Our job is to get the players we think are good for us … in this case, I don't want to say we won or lost, United wanted or didn't want, that's not the point. The point is Pedro is a player we like a lot and we are happy to have.”

 

Mourinho described Pedro as “one of the best attacking players in the world” who had demonstrated “the desire to leave a giant club, one of the best clubs in the world, a club that normally – when you are there – you don't want to leave.”

He added: “For a player like him, loved in the club, who loves the club [that] he wants to leave because he wants something more for his career, that's an evident sign of ambition. He wants to play every game. He's won everything playing with [Lionel] Messi, [Andres] Iniesta. All these stars. But he wants more, and I'm really happy with that kind of attitude. He comes to play and try and win, and try to enjoy, and not to have a holiday. I'm really happy with these two players [including Baba Rahman].”

“We understood that the player was ready to leave the club of his dreams, the club of his heart, the club where he had played since he was a kid and where he'd won absolutely everything. When I'm told a player wants to leave Barcelona, Real Madrid, these giant clubs, I always put a question mark. I ask myself why he wants to leave. Normally there are lots of rumours and it's never true, but it was true here.

“He has a lot of respect and he loves Iniesta, Messi, Neymar, all these guys who played with him all these years. But this is a moment to leave his comfort zone for a new challenge, a new club in a new country, a new culture. I'm really happy with this approach.”

Asked about the possibility of signing Paul Pogba, the £70m-rated Juventus midfielder whom Chelsea have looked closely at over the summer, Mourinho was more circumspect. “[He is] A Juventus player. I cannot speak about a Juventus player. I know [Massimo] Allegri was speaking about Oscar and Ramires all summer, but I don't do that about Juventus players. Only Allegri can speak about him, not me.”

 

On the question of who he will select among his medical staff for Sunday’s game against West Bromwich Albion he would not commit to the prospect of demoted first-team doctor Eva Carneiro returning. “I don't answer because I don't think it's important. What is important is that the players are in good hands. Since my arrival here, they're always in good hands.

“So next weekend it's not going to be different. They'll be in good hands, in those of the people on the bench, and those who are not on the bench and, many times, they are even more important. They have the knowledge and make decisions. Since my first day here, the players have been in good hands on the pitch and outside the pitch.”

Thibaut Courtois will return in goal after his suspension, in place of Asmir Begovic. Oscar and Victor Moses are injured for the game at the Hawthorns.

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