Pedro admits persuasive Blues made him bypass Manchester
Pedro has claimed that he turned down offers from Manchester City as well as Manchester United to join Chelsea and confirmed that a combination of Jose Mourinho, Cesc Fabregas and the Premier League champions' London location were key to his decision.
Speaking yesterday in Barcelona in front of media and former team-mates, including Lionel Messi, Pedro also acknowledged that he hoped never to leave Spain but that his recent lack of playing time persuaded him to search a new challenge. Manchester United had also been in negotiations with Barcelona for Pedro but it was Chelsea who moved most decisively, with Mourinho and Fabregas helping personally to persuade Pedro while Marina Granovskaia, the club director, negotiated a £21.1m deal.
"I had offers from other English clubs - Manchester United, City and Chelsea, who were the club that more rapidly resolved my transfer and the one that showed more interest in me," he said. "I'm very happy to be at Chelsea because it's a club that, like Barca, are fighting for titles. But I haven't gone to Chelsea just to work under Mourinho, but also because London attracts me as a city and I have friends at Chelsea. I've had an incredible reception at Chelsea."
Pedro scored one goal and created another on his Chelsea debut in the 3-2 win against West Brom on Sunday. But he said it was a risk to leave Barcelona, a club he first joined aged 17 and where, in winning 20 trophies, he was part of arguably the greatest team in football history. "I take with me those times of euphoria and happiness. I don't think Barca will miss me because they have plenty of quality players, but I will sure miss them, the players and the club. Of course I would have liked to have stayed at Barca and retire here. But I've taken a gamble because it's what I wanted. I wasn't going to stay here just to appear on the photo."
Pedro actually extended his contract with Barcelona earlier in the summer, agreeing a deal until June 2019 after scoring 16 goals and providing nine assists last season, but it soon became clear that Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar would remain the preferred attacking three of Luis Enrique, the manager. (© Daily Telegraph, London)