Chelsea announced the signing of Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez on a 4-year deal, the official website confirmed. The English champions, as reported by ESPN, paid a whopping £21.4 million for the Spanish player. He came incredibly close to signing for English giants Manchester United before Chelsea swooped to sign him at the last moment.
At the age of only 28, the Spaniard has won more than 8 different titles with club and country – some on multiple occasions. Since he joined the Catalan club in 2004, he has scored 99 goals in 321 senior team appearances for them.
Pedro, who can play both as a winger or centre-forward still has a hunger for trophies despite his long list of individual and team honours. He spoke about joining the London club, saying: “I am very happy to be here. I am very excited to start my adventure at Chelsea and I am here to keep winning titles.
“Thanks to the club and the supporters for giving me the opportunity to put the blue shirt on.”
There have been a number of reports surrounding the transfer saga, many linking the player to Chelsea initially. As time passed, the interest from the Blues wasn’t much spoken about but the attention from Manchester United was compounded. As the transfer seemed likelier by the minute a sudden last minute change of heart to confirm the move to London left many trolling Manchester United as Chelsea profited from their loss.
The Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho and former Barcelona team-mate Cesc Fabregas are rumoured to have played key roles in the change of mind that Pedro had. But another voice echoed louder than others as outgoing Manchester United keeper Victor Valdes, unimpressed with his treatment by Louis van Gaal appeared to influence his friend's decision in the end.
Chelsea already have an impressive array of attacking talent in Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar, and Juan Cuadrado but having started the season on a poor note, they will hope that the signing of Pedro can rejuvenate their title chances. The way Chelsea will line up is unclear, but a player of Pedro’s calibre will not be happy to just warm the bench at Stamford Bridge.
The defending champions have followed a one in one out transfer policy so far this summer, along the same lines they could be looking to offload someone as a makeweight for Pedro’s arrival. If they do not, they will have a host of attacking talent who can’t all obviously play for Chelsea game in and game out but it’s a problem that Mourinho would rather face than the lack of good players.