Both Premier League clubs are reportedly interested in signing the 27-year-old Spain international when the transfer window re-opens in January, but Barcelona are keen to hold onto the player and will offer him a new contract in a bid to ward off interest from top European clubs, including the English sides and Serie A champions Juventus.
Zubizarreta confirms Pedro is not for sale
Despite the probability that Pedro will fall further down the pecking order at the Camp Nou when Luis Suarez returns from his suspension later this month, Zubizarreta insists that the popular winger is not for sale. The retired goalkeeper gave no indication that Barcelona have any intention of offloading Pedro while speaking to reporters this weekend, commenting: "There's nothing in my office and we've not put him on the market.”
Barcelona almost sold Pedro in the summer
However, Zubizarreta’s comments could be a deliberate ploy to get the best possible price for £25 million-rated Pedro either in January or next summer. Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo reported last week that the Spaniard came very close to leaving the Camp Nou for Arsenal, who eventually signed Chile international Alexis Sanchez instead.
Pedro was convinced to stay put with his current employers by Luis Enrique, who replaced Tata Martino in the summer. But after starting just three of Barcelona’s six La Liga fixtures at the start of this season, the forward may still believe that it’s in his best options to consider his options in the near future - particularly with Suarez set to return to action.
Starting as early as October 25, when Barcelona take on Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season, Enrique will start Suarez in a three-pronged attack also featuring Neymar and Lionel Messi. Subsequently, Pedro is expected to spend the rest of the season playing the role of substitute in every important match Barcelona play.
Could Barcelona be tempted to cash in?
Pedro’s contract expires in 2016 - and if Barcelona receive little indication that the player plans to renew his current deal, then they could consider cashing in. As well as Suarez, Neymar and Messi, Enrique also has the exciting Munir El Haddadi at his disposal. The 19-year-old Spain international has started in one more La Liga match than Pedro at the start of this season.
And unless the situation improves for Pedro, it’s extremely unlikely that he will agree to put pen-to-paper on Barcelona’s latest contract offer, opening the door to the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal to submit a bid in the New Year.
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