Manchester United to swoop for Barcelona’s Pedro

Louis van Gaal to trigger World Cup winner’s release clause as he looks to bolster attack

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is hopeful of signing Pedro from Barcelona. Photograph: Afp

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is hopeful of signing Pedro from Barcelona. Photograph: Afp

 

Louis van Gaal is hopeful of buying Pedro from Barcelona to increase Manchester United’s attacking options, with the manager poised to trigger the forward’s release clause of £22m (€31.7m).

Robin van Persie has departed United for Fenerbahce to leave Van Gaal with Wayne Rooney as his only recognised frontline central striker. The Dutchman wants to play 4-3-3 and Pedro’s versatility in being able to operate across the frontline is attractive.

Pedro has struggled for regular game-time at Barça under Luis Enrique following Luis Suárez’s arrival, though the coach does not wish to lose him. The 27-year-old signed a new deal last month but amid interest for the player his exit clause has been reduced from £109m ( to £22m, an indicator that Pedro would consider moving.

Chelsea are also monitoring the player but it is understood he is minded to join United and that Van Gaal wants to close the deal soon given there are fewer than four weeks to the start of the new season.

The Spain international, who is a World Cup, European Championship, Champions League and La Liga winner, would add vast experience to United’s squad. His addition would mean Van Gaal could field a forward line featuring Rooney through the middle and Pedro and Memphis Depay either side.

United are in Seattle for their summer tour and will play Club América at 8pm local time on Friday. On Saturday week Van Gaal’s side meet Barça in the third of the club’s four tour matches, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

If Van Gaal can add Pedro then he would be some way to achieving all of his transfer business. The right-back Matteo Darmian, who joined from Torino, the midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, who left Bayern Munich and Southampton respectively, and Depay, who signed from PSV Eindhoven, have already bolstered the squad.

Van Gaal still hopes to add Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos should the Spanish club agree to his transfer as part of a deal for David de Gea to move the other way. United, though, will not allow De Gea to push through the move should he try to force his way out this summer.

(Guardian service)

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