Barcelona forward Pedro is set to become Manchester United’s sixth summer signing after the Red Devils’ executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward gave the green light to trigger the Spain international’s £22 million release clause.
This is according to the Mirror, who understand that Woodward has now flown back to the UK following talks with Pedro’s agent in the United States.
Discussions between the agent and Woodward were held ahead of last Saturday’s International Champions Cup fixture between United and Barcelona in Santa Clara, which the Reds won 3-1.
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Pedro is ready to leave Barça, despite signing a three-year contract extension with the Catalan giants last month, and has been told by the reigning European champions that he has permission to depart the Camp Nou.
One of the reasons the unsettled Spanish World Cup winner may have accepted Barcelona’s offer of a new contract in the first place was because of the significant reduction it would have on his buyout clause.
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Pedro feels the time is right to leave Barça
Before signing the new deal his release clause stood at an astronomical £107 million, but that has since been slashed to just £22 million - a fee Manchester United are now prepared to pay in order to complete the deal.
Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique is unable to offer Pedro assurances over first-team football because of the magnificent form - and respective individual qualities - of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar last season.
Without the aforementioned triumvirate, Barcelona would not have won another historic treble last season. Pedro made just 15 starts in La Liga last term and is acutely aware that things are unlikely to change heading into the 2015-16 campaign.
Decent replacement for Angel di Maria
The versatile forward, who celebrates his 28th birthday today, stands a much better chance of playing regularly in Louis van Gaal’s squad - particularly if, as expected, Angel di Maria leaves the Red Devils for French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
United and PSG are in negotiations over the transfer of Di Maria, who failed to board a flight to the United States - much to the anger of Van Gaal and the club’s supporters - at the weekend.
Pedro would be a fine addition to Manchester United’s squad and a decent replacement for Di Maria, who has flattered to deceive in England. One of the most underrated players in Europe, the forward is a real team player who is capable of playing on either flank or through the middle.
He has scored 98 goals in 318 games for Barcelona - an impressive record when you consider the majority of his appearances have come from the substitutes’ bench.
Although not the world-class name some United fans were hoping for, Pedro will boost the Red Devils’ chances of winning silverware next season.