Man Utd confident of sealing deal for Pedro
Manchester United are confident that they will sign Barcelona forward Pedro ahead of the new Premier League season after talks over a deal for the Spanish star edged closer to a conclusion.
Our Sunday World back page exclusive on United making their move for Pedro two weeks ago (below) looks set to be confirmed in the coming days, after Old Trafford deal maker Ed Woodward flew back to America to finalise details on the transfer.
While United have yet to make a formal offer that would trigger the £22m release clause in Pedro's contract, Barcelona accept that the player is eager to move to Manchester and a deal is expected to be thrashed out in the coming days.
Woodward is also hopeful of concluding the transfer of Angel Di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain, although the two clubs still appear to be some way a part in their valuation of the Argentine winger, who has confirmed to his current club that he intends to lead.
Pedro's arrival would soften the blow of Di Maria's exit, even though many United supporters have turned to social media in recent days to vent their frustrations over the club record signing's refusal to try and revive his career in England.
It remains to be seen whether the deal for Pedro will the last for United in a summer that has already seen them recruit Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian and keeper Sergio Romero.
United sources made it clear on Tuesday that they do not intend to sign another central defender if their concerted moves to sign Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos end unsuccessfully, yet a defensive leader would appear to be a priority for Van Gaal after he also tried and failed to sign Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels this summer.
Meanwhile, the stand-off over David De Gea's future continues, with United apparently determined to block his proposed move to Real Madrid unless the current offer on the table from the Spanish giants for the goalkeeper is substantially increased.