For weeks we have been hearing that Barcelona striker Pedro was heading to Manchester United. Personal terms were reportedly agreed months ago, and with Barca’s Uefa Super Cup and Spanish Cup games completed, the long-term Barcelona forward was supposed to sign for United.
But while United CEO Ed Woodward haggled over €3m, Chelsea swooped in an stole the Spanish international. United were offering Barcelona €25m up front and up to €5m in extras while Chelsea offered €28m plus another €2m in add-ons.
United can try and spin the story that they are no longer interest in Pedro, but for England’s richest club to lose a player of Pedro’s quality over €3m is inexcusable. This is the second time this week, Nicolas Otamendi, was the other, where United had agreed personal terms with a player but Woodward could not close the deal.
As for Chelsea, they came close to securing the 28-year-old World Cup and European Championship winner in January, only for José Mourinho to opt against pursuing a deal because Pedro was cup-tied in the Champions League.
Chelsea eventually signed Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina instead, though the Colombian did not feature in the knockout tie against Paris Saint-Germain and has proved a huge disappointment since moving to England. He has effectively been made available for transfer, most likely on loan.
The deal for Pedro, which had been mooted again earlier this summer, will add significantly to Chelsea’s attacking options as the club endure their worst start to a domestic season since 1998. The winger has spent a decade at Camp Nou and has won 15 major trophies over his career at the Catalan club, only signing a contract extension through to 2019 in June, but he craved more game-time last season.