Man Utd chief 'in talks' over Pedro deal

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Pedro may have played is last Barcelona game on Monday night against Athletic Bilbao
Pedro may have played is last Barcelona game on Monday night against Athletic Bilbao

Confusion reigned on Monday night after Manchester United transfer guru Ed Woodward held talks with Barcelona officials over a deal for attacking star Pedro.

United have been linked with a move to sign the Spanish international throughout this summer, yet reports that Woodward had met with Barcelona officials earlier this month to finalise the deal were swiftly dismissed by sources close to the Catalan club.

Now it seems as if that much-hyped meeting has finally taken place, but reports in Spain claim United have yet to meet the asking price being demanded by the reigning European champions.

While Barca have made it clear that they are eager to hang on to Pedro, United are confident that they can secure a deal for the forward who has a £22m release clause in his contract.

According to the latest reports in Spain, United have made an initial £18.5m bid to sign Pedro, with additional payments built into the deal that will take it up to the asking price Barcelona are insisting upon.

That offer is unlikely to tempt Barcelona to part with a homegrown hero who started in their Spanish Super Cup game against Athletico Bilbao on Monday night, with Spanish reports claiming no deal has yet been agreed for Pedro to move to Old Trafford.

The player himself is reluctant to end his 12-year stay at Barcelona, but he accepts he needs to move on to play first team football as he is behind Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez in the pecking order of Barca boss Luis Enrique.

While Louis van Gaal's United remain the favourites to sign him, weekend reports that Manchester City and Chelsea are ready to enter the race to sign suggested there could yet be a twist in the plot line of one of this summer's most talked about transfers.

United play what is arguably their most significant game of this season on Tuesday night, as they welcome Club Brugge to Old Trafford for the first leg of their Champions League play-off, with Van Gaal keen to add to his attacking options after a stuttering start to the season.

Six points from their first two Premier League games represents a fine return from displays against Tottenham and Aston Villa that were less than impressive, with Van Gaal left in no doubt that he needs to bolster his recourses in the final few weeks of this transfer window.

Meanwhile, Pedro's potential Barcelona farewell ended in disappointment, as they failed in their improbable attempt to come back from a 4-0 first leg deficit in their Spanish Super Cup clash against Bilbao, with a 1-1 draw handing the underdogs a thumping aggregate win.