If Joan Laporta wins the Barcelona presidential election at the weekend, he will block Pedro’s proposed transfer to Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho’s side were easily the best in England last season, and it was no surprise when they lifted their first Premier League title since 2010. So there isn’t a great deal he can do to improve his squad, but with the likes of Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs getting stronger, he is reluctant to simply stand still and watch.
The Blues have already taken striker Radamel Falcao from Monaco on loan, despite his poor spell in England with Manchester United last season, Brazilian youngster Nathan has been added from Atletico Paranaense, and following Petr Cech’s departure to the Emirates Stadium, £8million has been spent on Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Mourinho had then set his sights on a deal for Pedro, the Spanish international, who would link up with compatriots Cesar Azpilicueta, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas at Stamford Bridge. And it looked as though this deal was more than possible, with reports suggesting a fee of around £22million had provisionally been agreed for the transfer.
However, if Laporta wins the Barcelona presidency on Saturday, he will look to keep hold of the 27-year-old. Eric Abidal, the former Camp Nou and France defender, will become the club’s sporting director, and he confirmed: “Players such as Pedro cannot be allowed to go. He is still an important part of this squad. If Laporta wins, we will look at his future.”
Pedro, who has scored 16 goals in 51 appearances for his country, developed through the youth ranks at Barcelona and has gone on to make almost 320 outings in all competitions and has 98 goals to show for his efforts. He remains under contract until the summer of 2019, and has a buyout clause of a staggering 150million Euros.