Manchester City and Manchester United are huge rivals on and off the pitch, and now they seem to be rivals for the signing of Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez.
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A report from the Daily Mail claims that City are interested in signing Pedro should their $75 million move for Belgian winger Kevin De Bruyne fall through in the coming days. However, United have long been linked with a move for the Spanish international attacker, as the player himself acknowledged his time at Barca may well be up.
Following his game-winning goal in extra time during Barcelona’s thrilling 5-4 win over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday, Pedro confirmed that a move away from Barca after 11 years would be all about playing time and not about money.
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The Spanish winger has seen his minutes diminish at the Nou Camp over the last 12 months after the arrival of Neymar and Luis Suarez to partner Lionel Messi in attack.
United have been the long-term favorites to seal a deal for Pedro, with the Red Devils meeting his $30 million release clause and also said to have agreed personal terms with his reps. However, City are keeping a close eye on the situation and could pounce at the last minute to bring him to the Etihad Stadium instead of Old Trafford.
Either option would be a good one for Pedro, while it would seem like both United and City are well stocked with attacking midfielders but both sides know they must continue to strengthen if they’re going to challenge Chelsea and Arsenal for the Premier League title.
City have Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and David Silva in attack, but having Pedro on one wing instead of the likes of Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas would significantly strengthen the attacking options at Manuel Pellegrini’s disposal. If the move for Wolfsburg’s De Bruyne doesn’t go ahead as planned, then Pedro is a top class second choice. As for United, they seem more desperate to land the Spaniard as after Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay, they have few options of players who can play centrally, while Pedro has also flourished on either wing during his successful spell at Barcelona which has seen him win three UEFA Champions League titles and five La Liga crowns, plus a World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.
His experience and quality in the final third for club and country is exactly why the two Manchester clubs are dueling for his signature.