Pedro Rodriguez is set to join Premier League champions Chelsea from Barcelona in a £21.6 million deal, The Independent reports. He has fallen down the pecking order at Barcelona and has reportedly been convinced after a call from Jose Mourinho and talks with former teammate Cesc Fabregas to move to the London club, according to Spanish publication Sport.
The 27-year-old found playing time hard to come by at Barcelona after summer signing Luis Suarez’s sensational run of form post the winter break. Rumours of a move to Chelsea surfaced back in April, but it looked like Pedro was ready to bide his time and fight for a place in the starting line-up after signing a four-year contract extension at Nou Camp.
Sport however suggests that the contract signed on the eve of the club’s Champions League final against Juventus, which they subsequently won, had lowered the Spaniard’s buyout clause from €150 million to €30m.
The recent additions of Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan cast further doubt on Pedro’s future and he was being linked with a move to England, with Arsenal and Liverpool reportedly interested along with French champions Paris Saint-Germain. However, former Barcelona teammate Cesc Fabregas seems to have swayed Pedro’s decision in Chelsea’s favour with the club ready to pay the player’s buy-out clause.
Pedro a complete team player
Pedro has come through Barcelona’s youth set-up after joining them as a 17-year-old from local club San Isidro. He has enjoyed a trophy-laden career in Spain with 19 major honours, including five La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League titles to his credit. The crowning glory on the personal front came in the 2010/11 final of Europe’s premier club competition when he netted the opener against Manchester United.
Playing along the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Saurez and David Villa and Alexis Sanchez earlier meant Pedro was never given the recognition he deserved. His exploits were often overshadowed by his most illustrious peers, but his record of 98 goals in 318 games proves that he is a more than decent backup player.
He has remained a thorough professional in spite of the limited playing time of late, popping up as a crucial super sub on more than one occasion. Most recently he stepped up in the absence of the injured Suarez to help Barca beat Atletico Madrid in the crucial league match that confirmed the La Liga trophy would be heading to Nou Camp.