Pedro's move to Man Utd put on hold?
Manchester United's hopes of wrapping up a move to sign Barcelona midfielder Pedro could be delayed amid reports that the Catalan club have put a temporary block on the move.
Confirmation that Barcelona forward Neymar has contracted mumps and will be out of action for the next fortnight means Barca are reportedly stalling on talks with United over the sale of Pedro.
While Barcelona have conceded they are powerless to stop Pedro leaving if United agree to pay the £22m buy-out clause in his contract, they could dictate the timing of the deal in the final three weeks of the transfer window.
With Lionel Messi and Neymar returning to training later than most of their team-mates, Barca were keen to hold on to Pedro until they play the UEFA Super Cup match against Sevilla on Tuesday in Tbilisi.
Now that eagerness to hang on to the player until near the end of August at the very least could frustrate United boss Van Gaal, who admits he is infuriated by the transfer window continuing beyond the start of the Premier League season.
“I have strived many times to change the transfer period. It has to be finished before you prepare your team for the season,” stated the United boss.
“Last summer we had the World Cup and then a lot of players came late in. We had a lot of purchase at the last month so we have to prepare our team in the Premier League and that costs us a lot of points.
"It is ridiculous to still be talking about transfer when games are now on. Can anyone explain why this continues?”
Pedro's move to Old Trafford is still widely expected to go through, with Van Gaal keen to bolster his attacking options on the wing following the departure of Angel Di Maria last week.