The Reds are on the transfer market as they seek a replacement for Sterling, who completed his move to Premier League rivals Manchester City earlier in the week in a deal worth a reported £49million [via BBC Sport], and according to reports in Spain [via Metro Sport] they look set to battle Chelsea for the signing of Pedro from the Liga BBVA champions.
The 27-year-old’s future at the Camp Nou is uncertain following the arrival of Arda Turan [via BBC Sport], which will mean even more competition for a place in Luis Enrique’s starting XI in the upcoming season.
Last season, Pedro had to make way for Luis Suarez in Barca’s star-studded forward line that also includes Lionel Messi and Neymar, which resulted in a host of substitute appearances for the Spaniard. Despite his lack of starts he was still able to weigh in six goals and assists including a vital strike against Real Sociedad which inched Barca closer to the title.
He is still regarded as a important part of the squad by manager Enrique, but that has not stopped links with a move to England and a reunion with former club teammate Cesc Fabregas [via Metro Sport].
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However, the Merseyside outfit have now emerged as potential suitors for Pedro and are prepared to take advantage of Chelsea’s refusal to match his £20.9 million release-clause.
The news comes hot on the heels of reports that the Reds have triggered Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke’s £32.5 million buy-out clause [via Liverpool Echo] as they close in on the signing of the player who scored against the club in the FA Cup semi-final back in April, which denied former captain Steven Gerrard a chance to finish his career in England with a trophy.