Saturday 15 December 2018

Manchester United transfer news: We're powerless to stop £22m Pedro joining Reds, says Barcelona boss Luis Enrique

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Barcelona winger Pedro
Manchester United have been linked with a move for Barcelona winger Pedro

Mark Ogden

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has paved the way for Manchester United to sign Pedro Rodriguez by admitting the European champions are powerless to stop the forward leaving the Nou Camp if his £22m release clause is activated.

United manager Louis van Gaal has identified Pedro as a priority target to bolster his attacking options at Old Trafford, with the 27-year-old able to play in a central role or on the right flank.

The Spain international has told friends that he is keen to move to United in order to play regular football after accepting defeat in his attempt to break up the Lionel Messi-Neymar-Luis Suarez front line at Barcelona.

And Enrique, speaking on the club’s tour of the United States, has conceded that Barcelona are vulnerable to United triggering Pedro’s escape clause.

 “Pedro? If he wants to go, a club will have to meet his release clause,” Enrique said. “I have talked with Pedro to discuss his situation.

“I have told him how I think about it and he told me how he feels about it, but I obviously won't reveal the exact content of the conversation we had.”

Read more: Luis Suarez tells Pedro to ignore advances from Chelsea and Manchester United

Despite wanting to keep the player at the Nou Camp, Enrique is understood to accept Pedro’s frustrations with his reduced role with the European champions.

Pedro, who signed a new contract last month after negotiating a reduction in the size of his trigger fee, has so far remained silent on his intentions.

But Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho publicly abandoned his pursuit of the Canary Islander last week, with the Premier League champions made aware of Pedro’s preference for a move to Old Trafford.

United have yet to lodge a bid for the forward, with Angel di Maria’s future yet to be resolved, but with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward due to return to the States on Thursday following a four-day break in Manchester, talks could take place in San Francisco this weekend ahead of an International Champions Cup clash between the two clubs in Santa Clara on Saturday.

Read more: Man United still keen on '€90m' Sergio Ramos

Pedro could face United at the Levi’s Stadium after making his first appearance on tour during Barcelona’s victory against LA Galaxy in Pasadena on Tuesday.

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