Barcelona have announced that versatile forward Pedro, who reportedly wanted to leave the Camp Nou this summer, has signed a new three-year deal with the Catalan giants.
The Spain international's contract was set to expire in the summer of 2016, but the 27-year-old is now tied to the Champions League finalists until 2019.
Pedro had been strongly linked with several English clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea Arsenal and Liverpool - and a move to the Premier League looked likely - but Barcelona confirmed the surprise news via their official Twitter account on Thursday lunchtime.
Spanish newspaper Marca reported in April that Pedro had taken the tough decision to leave Barça, following 11 years with the club, after failing to establish himself as a first-choice pick under Luis Enrique.
Pedro has made 48 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring 11 goals in the process, but has found himself bumped down the pecking order following the arrivals of Neymar and Luis Suarez over the past two years.
Why did Pedro sign this new deal?
That he is still getting game time, regardless of whether or not the majority of his appearances are from the substitutes' bench, and the fact Barcelona are on course to win another historic treble may have convinced Pedro to stay with his current employers.
Furthermore, an opportunity to nail down a first-team place with Barcelona may soon present itself.
Dani Alves recently admitted he has "both feet and a head" out of the Camp Nou after contract negotiations with Barcelona hit a brick wall, and it's understood Enrique may opt to deploy the tactically-disciplined Pedro in the right wing-back position from the start of next season.
Whether Pedro would be suited to this new position remains to be seen, but the feeling at Barcelona is that he could be a useful option, with the Catalan club unable to register new players until January due to their existing transfer ban.
Ariedo Braida was telling the truth
Barcelona's international sporting director Ariedo Braida told reporters last month that Pedro would still be a member of the Camp Nou playing squad come the start of the 2015-16 campaign, but few expected this was the truth.
"Pedro is and will continue being a Barcelona player," Braida was quoted as saying by Sport. "He is a very important player for us. He has a contract and will continue at the Camp Nou, especially taking into account our transfer ban."
Barcelona will be delighted Pedro has committed his future to the club, but the news will be a significant blow to the interested Premier League clubs who must have regarded the underrated forward as a potential bargain heading into the summer transfer window.
Was Pedro right to sign a new three-year deal with Barcelona - or will he regret his decision? Have your say in the comments below!
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