New Chelsea winger Pedro has confirmed that Manchester United were interested in signing him from Barcelona, reports the Daily Mail, before interventions from Jose Mourinho and Cesc Fabregas convinced him to sign for the Blues instead.
The Spaniard, who scored on his debut in a 3-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion last weekend, was speaking to the media and his old team-mates at a farewell presentation at Barcelona's training ground on Monday.
Whilst there he thanked everybody at the club for all they had done for him, yet refused to answer questions about working under Mourinho whose name is something of a curse on Catalonian shores.
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United had been eager to sign Pedro in replacement of Angel Di Maria, who left for Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month, but Louis van Gaal's dawdling ultimately saw the Barcelona graduate head to Stamford Bridge instead.
Allowing him to join their title rivals has sparked much fury amongst United supporters, with a fine debut performance at the Hawthorns yesterday only serving to add salt into the wounds.
"There were some big clubs in for me," he said. "There was interest from Manchester City and Manchester United but it's Chelsea who moved quickest and were more decisive."
"I like what Mourinho told me when we spoke. He said that he wanted to make the club stronger and I would be able to do that."
Whilst happy to be a Chelsea player, Pedro did admit to his sadness at leaving Barcelona after a successful spell at the Nou Camp that saw him win 20 trophies in seven seasons.
"Of course, I would have liked to remain at Barca and retire here," he admitted.
"That was my intension when I signed my contract extension. But I've taken a gamble because it's what I wanted.
"There have been great times, I have scored in many great finals, and I take with me those feelings of euphoria and happiness.
"But I wasn't going to just stay to appear on the photo."
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