Tuesday 20 March 2018

Pedro launches stinging attack on Barcelona and refuses to rule out Manchester United move

Manchester United are keen on Barcelona winger Pedro
Manchester United are keen on Barcelona winger Pedro

Manchester United target Pedro has launched a stinging attack on Barcelona - but admits he does not know if he has played his last game for the club.

Pedro climbed off the bench to score the match-winning goal on Tuesday as Barcelona saw off Primera Division rivals Sevilla 5-4 after extra-time in a thrilling Super Cup clash in Tbilisi.

That came after Barca technical secretary Robert Fernandez was quoted as saying before the match that Pedro had told him he wanted to move on from the Nou Camp club.

The Spain winger has been heavily linked with a move to United as they look to replace Angel di Maria, who joined Paris St Germain for £44.3million last week.

However, an angry Pedro denied saying he wanted to leave, even if he is in the dark about his long-term future.

Asked if he wanted to go or not, the long-serving forward was quoted as saying by AS: "The answer is no. But it's complicated for many things.

"It's not for money, as has been said - which is another lack of respect. It's a question of continuity, of minutes. I'm an ambitious player. Stay or go, I will always be of this team.

"I don't know if it will be my last game for Barcelona. I only want to enjoy this title."

Regarding Fernandez's claims, Pedro said: "There are many pros and cons about my situation. The comments of Robert Fernandez are unfair. He's made some very unfortunate declarations. I've crossed two words with him and he doesn't know what I've been through at the club to talk like that of me.

"I know who I am and I will always be of Barca. Such people shouldn't speak in this way."

Pedro - who later tweeted his pleasure at scoring in the Super Cup - added on Antena 3: "I've not said what Robert's said, or at least not how I said it. I'm calm, happy and I will always continue giving everything if I continue at this club."

With Brazil striker Neymar being struck down with mumps over the weekend, it had been thought Pedro would line up alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez up front in Barca's starting line-up on Tuesday.

However, coach Luis Enrique opted to leave the 28-year-old on the bench against Sevilla and start with Rafinha, and it was not until extra-time that Pedro was sent on.

Pedro made a match-winning impact, though, scoring the deciding goal moments from the end as Barca claimed a dramatic win.

Pedro said: "The truth is I had a good chance to play, especially since of what happened to Neymar, and it wasn't to be. The coach has decided not to count on me. I don't know, I don't know if I will continue here.

"I'm here now and I want to enjoy this title. Manchester? Yes, there are nice challenges on all sides. Today I'm here, and I'm happy. And if I go I will go with my head held high having always given everything. These fans and this club are incredible."

Barca star Lionel Messi admits he is in the dark about his team-mate's future, but says he will support whatever decision the forward makes.

The Argentina playmaker said: "I'm thrilled that Pedro was the one to get the winning goal. Personally I don't know what his decision will be but we're all with him and we'll back him.

"We want the best for him given what he's given the club - he deserves the best. I don't know what he'll decide but whatever he'll have our support."

Barca boss Enrique, whose side have now won four trophies this year and remain on course to emulate the record-breaking feat of Pep Guardiola's side in 2009 when they won all six titles available to them, was giving nothing away with regards Pedro's future but explained his decision not to start the World Cup winner against Sevilla.

He said: "A few days ago Pedro retired from training with an adductor muscle problem and you know about his current status, so I picked the man (Rafinha) I thought would be best in the circumstances and I would do the same again.

"I understand why you're interested in this matter but I'm not going to say any more about it."

Online Editors

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