By Andy Hyslop
- This deal was talked about for weeks
- Was Pedro 100% committed to coming to Old Trafford
It emerged yesterday that Chelsea had activated the release clause in Pedro’s contract with Barcelona. Despite reports for several weeks that the Spaniard was set for a move to Old Trafford.
After weeks of speculation that Pedro would be on his way to Old Trafford. On numerous occasions we were told that Pedro was playing his last game for Barcelona and would be heading to Manchester. First it was when United themselves faced Barcelona in pre-season, there were reports that Pedro would play in the game before making the move to Old Trafford.
We heard the same reports as Barcelona faced Seville in the European Super Cup and then as they faced Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup over two-legs. Before both games once again were told that this would his final appearance and he would saying goodbye to his Barcelona team-mates and joining Spanish contingent at Old Trafford.
This never happened, whether it was United refusing to meet the release clause and haggling after a couple of million pounds. Or whether it was actually Pedro delaying because either he didn’t want to leave Barcelona or he was in fact talking to other clubs as well as United.
It is my opinion that Pedro was never an initial target for Van Gaal and Manchester United. They were probably alerted to his situation at Barcelona by his agent. If this is the case, United wouldn’t have been the only club that his agent would have sounded out about the possibility of signing him.
I believe the same happened with Di Maria and Falcao last summer. These players were never targets of Manchester United until they were alerted to the fact they might be available for a certain price or on-loan in Falcao’s case. Last summer Van Gaal came in at the last minute and needed time to judge the squad for himself and after an awful start to the season realised he needed re-enforcements. By this time there wasn’t long left of the window and the club panicked. Rushing into the deals for both Di Maria and Falcao, I don’t need to tell you whether these signings were a success or not.
I feel Falcao was committed to the club and wanted to do well for Manchester United, but Di Maria was never committed to Manchester United. He was only here because Real Madrid wanted rid of him and no else other than Paris St Germain were interested in him and they couldn’t sign him last summer because of financial constraints. Paris is the place he wanted to be all along.
If we had signed Pedro, we would be in the same situation again and that is why I believe that Van Gaal has decided against signing him. Pedro wouldn’t have been coming to Manchester United because he wants to play for the club, he was coming because he couldn’t get in the Barcelona team and that is why even when asked about his situation he wouldn’t commit to saying he wanted to leave Barcelona. He carried on playing for Barcelona in the hope that he could convince coach Luis Enrique that he should be in the team ahead of Neymar, Messi or Suarez.
As a Manchester United fan I want players that are committed to coming to United because they want to wear that famous red shirt and grace the Old Trafford pitch every other week. We want players that embrace the club and understand what playing for Manchester United means.