Manchester United may have to wait until after the Premier League season has started to complete a deal for Barcelona star Pedro. Reports have suggested that the two clubs are closing in on an agreement, but Barcelona are trying their best to hold up a deal.
The Sun claims that Luis Enrique wants Pedro available for Uefa Super Cup clash against Sevilla. The game is due to take place in the Georgian city of Tbilisi on August 11 and Enrique is worried the departure of Pedro will leave his attacking options desperately short.
Leo Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were all granted extended holiday after competing in the Copa America with their respective countries and may not be fit in time to face the Europa League champions.
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Should Pedro have already departed the Nou Camp for Old Trafford, Enrique would be left with youngsters to play in what is likely to be a very competitive fixture. As a result, the Barcelona boss will try to delay the deal.
However, Manchester United's Premier League campaign gets underway against Tottenham Hotspur on August 8 and Louis van Gaal is keen to get the majority of his transfer business done before then.
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That could have big implications for the Red Devils, who need Pedro to replace the outgoing Angel di Maria. The Argentine is closing in on a move to Paris Saint-Germain and has so far refused to meet up with his United team-mates on their pre-season tour on the USA.
The same report says Manchester United have made a £17m bid for Pedro, but Barcelona are holding out for £21m. The sooner Van Gaal agrees to meet the asking price, the bigger chance he will have the Spain international available.
Pedro has already decided to quit Barcelona and the promise of a starting spot in the curtain-raising fixture against Sevilla is unlikely to change his mind. It is also unlikely that Enrique will put the deal is serious jeopardy by risking the player in the match. Any sort of injury is likely to give Manchester United reason to reconsider their interest in the 27-year-old.
Ed Woodward has been praised for his negotiating this summer, but he is certainly facing a big challenge to get Pedro in the Manchester United squad before next weekend.
Should Manchester United pull out of a deal for Pedro if Barcelona try to delay it? Give us YOUR thoughts in the comment box below!