Barcelona’s Luis Enrique has spoken out over the future of Pedro Rodriguez amid intense speculation that Chelsea are set to make an offer.
The Blues’ interest in the Spain international emerged at the end of last week – when SPORT revealed Jose Mourinho’s long-term admiration of the 27-year-old.
According to the Spanish newspaper, the former Real Madrid manager believes that the arrival of Atletico Madrid’s Arda Turan may have pushed the Spaniard even further down the pecking order in Luis Enrique’s side – and Mourinho was rumoured to be ready to capitalise on this possibility.
In a further update, on Monday, the Mirror claimed that the Premier League champions were preparing a £20m deal for Pedro, and were readying a four-year contract in an attempt to lure the winger to west London this summer.
Following the intense speculation over Pedro’s future at the Camp Nou, Barca boss Enrique was forced to answer questions in a press conference earlier today.
The 45-year-old admitted that the Liga BBVA giants would be powerless to stand in the way of the winger’s exit if his release-clause is met:
“I do not want him to go, but there is a clause if he wants to go,” he began, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“I hope that the relationship will not break, but I respect his decision. [Marc] Bartra is in a similar situation and he stayed.”
Pedro only signed a contract extension with Barcelona last month, and it was said that his buy-out clause would remain at €150m (£106.2m) [via ESPN].
However, Mundo Deportivo put potential suitors for the forward on high alert after revealing that the release agreement written into his new deal with the Champions League winners is, in fact, €30m (£21.2m).
With Eden Hazard, Willian, Juan Cuadrado and Mohamed Salah competing for a wide-role at Stamford Bridge, it’s difficult to ascertain where Pedro could fit into Mourinho’s side.
Nonetheless, with Willian struggling to offer much in front of goal – scoring just two goals and registering three assists last season – Pedro could pip the Brazil international to a first-team position, if he makes the move to the English capital.
The Spaniard scored six and set up a further six in the 2014/15 campaign – despite making just 15 La Liga starts.