Reports: Chelsea stun Manchester United with late bid for Barcelona's Pedro
Chelsea have hijacked United's move for Barcelona forward, Pedro.
Champions, Chelsea, have reportedly lodged a bid to sign Barcelona winger, Pedro, report The Telegraph. The Spaniard has been linked with a move to Manchester United all summer but now it seems he might be headed to the Bridge rather than Old Trafford.
Manchester United's executive vice-president Ed Woodward had even flown down to Barcelona to hold talks and finalise a deal. However, it emerged that United were baulking at the £22-million fee being demanded by the Catalan club.
Jose Mourinho has been an admirer of the winger for a while nearly signing him in January but now – after a disappointing start to the season – it looks like he's willing to invest heavily in his squad to sufficiently challenge and defend the Premier League title.
Guillem Balague: United had already agreed a deal
Manchester United have been on the lookout for an attacking forward to replace Paris-defector Angel di Maria and had settled in on moving for Pedro with the Spaniard himself acknowledging the interest by saying, “Manchester? Yes, there are nice challenges on all sides."
Add to this, Sky Sports Expert, Guillem Balague confirmed that there was an agreement between Manchester United and the 5-time La Liga winner.
"I understand a deal between the player and United is already in place and all that is left is for United to put the €30m on the table. They are just negotiating how they are going to pay it, with instalments or an amount up-front,” he said.
"Ed Woodward, the Manchester United chief executive, has been in Barcelona today, speaking to the club and the word is that a deal will be done this week one way or another," he added.
Manchester United, it seems, would now rather focus their efforts on bringing in Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller rather than Pedro by submitted a €85m bid for the World Cup winner. The Red Devils are increasingly confident of landing their man after bringing in former teammate and compatriot Bastian Schweinsteiger – whom they signed for around £10-million in the summer.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are in recruitment mode having made a third offer valued around £30-million for Everton and English centre-back John Stones. They're looking to offload Victor Moses and Colombian Juan Cuadrado – whom they signed just over six months ago – to accommodate incoming Pedro.
They're also on the lookout for another tough-tackling midfielder with the likes of Axel Witsel, Paul Pogba and Kevin de Bruyne being touted as possible targets.