The transfer rumor mill was sent into overdrive yesterday following Luis Enrique’s sensational claims regarding the future of his 27-year-old forward Pedro Rodriguez. Having already been linked with several top clubs earlier in the summer, Pedro appeared to have put to bed all the speculations to bed when he signed an extension with Barcelona in June.
However, in recent days, it has been reported that the extension was just a ploy for the Blaugrana to extent maximum value from the player’s sale. With Pedro himself having allegedly revealed earlier in the week that his buyout clause had been dropped following the extension, and that he had several offers to depart the Camp Nou , rumors about his departure were already rife with several outlets claiming a switch to the Premier League is imminent.
Enrique’s comments have added fuel to fire, with the Blaugrana manager claiming that he will not stand in the player’s way if the forward wants a switch to another club. Speaking to the journalists , the former Barcelona legend stated:
“I don’t want him to go, but he has a clause in his contract and I will respect his opinion. I never cheat my players and they know that I am not going to promise minutes to anyone. I hope Pedro stays, though, as has been the case with Marc Bartra.”
On the subject of a departure for Pedro, he further added:
“I made requests and they have been met. Now I don’t know whether players will leave or be sold.”
These comments are likely to spark a bidding war between Premier League rivals Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. The latter have been long term admirers of the versatile Spaniard and Wenger has tried to sign him in the past, only for the Spanish champions to block a move. Last summer was a case in point when Arsenal were linked with both him and Alexis Sanchez, only for the Blaugrana to choose to offload the Chilean and retain him.
But the tables have turned this summer, and it is Pedro on the lookout for a move, after having been relegated to the bench since Luis Suarez’s arrival , and having been forced to watch on from the sidelines as his teammates won the treble. Now that it has been made clear that the club will listen to offers for the 27-year-old, there is an opportunity for the Frenchman to lure the highly rated player to the Emirates.
Wenger is on the lookout for a goalscoring wide forward who can help take the creative load off Sanchez. Pedro will be an astute signing as not only has he had a successful partnership with the Chilean at the Camp Nou , he has also chipped in with his fair share of goals, netting 97 goals in 318 appearances for the club.
With chances of a move to Chelsea slim due to the Blues already boasting a settled front three, it appears a direct race between the Gunners and the Reds for the signature of the Spaniard. However, Arsenal appear favorites due to the fact that they, unlike the Reds, have the lure of Champions League football.