Barcelona have agreed to sell Manchester United target Pedro this summer with reports in Spain suggesting the deal is a case of when rather than if.
United are keen on adding to their attacking options, and with Angel Di Maria close to completing a move to Paris Saint-Germain in the coming days, manager Louis van Gaal is determined to add some firepower to his attack before the season-opening clash with Tottenham next weekend.
Barcelona’s Pedro has already been identified as one of those who can add considerable quality to the squad, having enjoyed six trophy-laden years in the Catalans’ first team. However, the brilliant understanding struck up by Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar has seen Pedro have to make do with a place on the substitutes’ bench, and the Spain international understands that he needs to leave the club in order to secure more first-team opportunities.
Head coach Luis Enrique had been reluctant to sell the 28-year-old, but according to Spanish newspaper Marca the deal has been given the green light and the two clubs will now enter discussion over the fee that must be paid.
Having been linked with an £18m offer, United will have to shell out around £22m for Barcelona to agree to a deal, given that his release clause is considerably higher.
It’s added though that Barcelona will not sell the forward until after they face Sevilla in the Uefa Super Cup, which takes place on 11 August in Tbilisi, Georgia. With Enrique concerned over the fitness of both Messi and Neymar due to their lack of pre-season training, Enrique wants the option of Pedro for the match between the respective Champions League and Europa League winners before allowing him to complete a move to the Premier League.
Having already signed Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven, Van Gaal has plenty of options to deploy on the right of his preferred three-man attack even with Di Maria’s exit imminent, and it’s expected that Pedro will fill the problematic right flank to give United one of the most talented strike-forces in the league.
With captain Wayne Rooney set to be the club’s lead striker this season, Pedro will also offer cover should Rooney become unavailable. Tenerife-born Pedro is just two goals shy of reaching his century mark for Barcelona, having notched 98 goals in 318 games in all competitions, and he holds a credible international record of 16 goals in 51 caps despite rarely playing through the middle.
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