Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward has flown to Catalonia to secure the £22 million transfer of Barcelona forward Pedro.
It has been widely reported that the much-anticipate move will be finalized this week, with the expectation being that the Spain international will be unveiled as a United player on Tuesday or Wednesday.
To this point, Barcelona has been successful in its attempts to delay Pedro’s departure from the Camp Nou. However, with the Spanish Super Cup set for its conclusion today (5pm ET on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes), the club will begrudgingly allow the 28-year-old to leave for England.
SEE MORE: Read Manchester United’s 2015/16 season preview.
Barcelona have been resigned to losing Pedro since manager Luis Enrique cannot guarantee the Spain international the playing time he desires with the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar being his first-choice forwards.
After scoring the match-winning goal and securing Barcelona’s 5-4 extra-time victory in the UEFA Super Cup, Pedro informed the media that he did not want to leave Barcelona. However, the lack of continuity in the squad has forced him to rethink his future in Catalonia.
Asked if he wanted to go or not, the winger said: “The answer is no, but it’s complicated for many things.
“It’s not money, as has been said – which is another lack of respect. It’s a question of continuity, of minutes. I’m an ambitious player. Stay or go, I will always be of this team.”
Last week, a story was floated claiming Pedro was reconsidering his move to Manchester United over fears of Louis van Gaal’s managerial style, following the Dutch boss’ treatment of David de Gea and Victor Valdes. However, that report has been dismissed as pure speculation.
Van Gaal has all-but guaranteed Pedro a starting role alongside Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay in United’s starting eleven, and news of the player’s imminent arrival in Manchester has been greeted with unanimous support by the players and coaching staff at Old Trafford.
Since his arrival in 2004, Pedro has been lauded for his professionalism and work ethic while plying his trade with La Blaugrana’s youth team and senior squad. And despite the transfer speculation that has followed him for the past few months, the winger has continued to produce solid performances when called upon by manager Luis Enrique.
In other Manchester United transfer news, the English club has reportedly rekindled its interest in Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, following the news from earlier today that Sergio Ramos has re-signed with Real Madrid – as well as reports from Spain regarding Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi’s imminent arrival at Manchester City.
United were strongly linked with Laporte for the better-part of last season. However, the 21-year-old center-back agreed a contract extension with Bilbao in June, a deal which saw his release clause increased to £36.5 million.
According to Daily Mail reporter Ian Ladyman, United are prepared to trigger the highly-rated defender’s buy-out clause and complete this transfer in the coming days. The English club was unwilling to meet Valencia’s£ 36.5 million valuation of Nicolas Otamendi. However, United could be prepared to invest the same amount of money on Laporte – who is six years younger.
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