Why £22m Barcelona forward Pedro could be Manchester United’s galactico signing

Barcelona winger Pedro Rodriguez continues to be linked with a transfer to Manchester United, and with each passing day, the move appears to be increasingly likely.

ESPN FC reported on Thursday that, despite his winner against Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup, his feelings on his Camp Nou future remain unaltered; he wants regular football, and the Red Devils are ready to meet these demands.

What’s more, Louis van Gaal, the United manager, remained typically coy on a move for the 27-year-old, but hinted that negotiations could be taking place.

“You have to ask Pedro, not me. My answer is it’s a process, it’s a club, it’s a player, and we are there also,” he began, as quoted by Sky Sports.

“I don’t mention anything until he has signed. When he has signed I come to you and say ‘hey, Pedro is here’. That is still not the case. We shall wait and see.”

Pedro could be the missing piece of the puzzle that United need to beat reigning champions Chelsea, as well as rivals Manchester City and Arsenal, to the Premier League title.

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In terms of how Pedro could fit into van Gaal’s line up, while Angel Di Maria sealed a £44.3m move to Paris Saint-Germain at the beginning of August, there still remains plenty of competition for places on the flanks from Ashley Young, Adnan Januzaj, Antonio Valencia, Memphis Depay and Juan Mata.

However, in United’s opening game of the season Depay started in the No.10 position behind Wayne Rooney, while Mata was handed a start on the right wing.

It will likely be a head-to-head battle for a position between Pedro and Young – who signed a new contract that will keep him in Manchester until June 2018 – and the Spain international will surely become first-choice upon his arrival.

Pedro saw his playing time limited last season, as Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi quickly became Luis Enrique’s first-choice trio in attack, and he looks set to suffer the same misfortune if he continues his career with Barca this term.

Nonetheless, despite his limited appearances, six goals and six assists in just 1531 minutes of action – the lowest of any regular senior player for the Catalan giants – was an excellent return from the 28-year-old in the previous campaign.

His explosive pace and creativity have regularly been on show in pre-season, and his clinical match-winning finishing was on show earlier this week in the Super Cup.

His performances this summer have suggested that he has little desire to sulk over his limited playing time at the Camp Nou.

The Daily Mail report that Pedro has a £22m release-clause, and compared to the £59.7m [via BBC Sport] shelled out for Di Maria – who possessed all the credentials to become their galactico a year ago – Pedro could prove a steal this summer.

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Van Gaal’s second summer window of heavy spending implies that the former Netherlands manager is concerned that his team is lacking that spark required to compete on the domestic and European stage.

Real Madrid have Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona have Lionel Messi, Chelsea have Eden Hazard, Manchester City have Sergio Aguero, Arsenal have Alexis Sanchez; but who do Manchester United have?

At the moment they have no one to fill that sparkless void.

The Dutchman has previously voiced his frustration at not having a ‘galactico’ at United.

“We don’t have a good vision. We can use much more creativity,” he began, as quoted by The Guardian.

He even compared Young to Neymar to illustrate his views.

“Young had a fantastic season but he is not a Neymar and we have to compete with that kind of class.

“I’m thinking at that time, they have Hazard, he can always make goals, he can always make an action and decide a goal. Manchester City have Aguero, it’s the same type. Barcelona has Messi, Neymar and Suárez. We as Manchester United have to compete with these clubs. So we have to look also for that kind of players.”

Despite having signed Bayern Munich legend and World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger, perhaps it is Pedro who is capable of satisfying van Gaal’s need for a player with the fresh hunger required to reassert the Red Devils’ place in the Champions League.

A player with a point to prove.

More Stories Alexis Sanchez Angel Di Maria Antonio Valencia Ashley Young Bastian Schweinsteiger Cristiano Ronaldo Eden Hazard Juan Mata Lionel Messi Louis van Gaal Luis Suarez Matteo Darmian Memphis Depay Neymar Pedro Rodriguez Sergio Aguero