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SPORTS

Manchester United reportedly closing on the transfer of Pedro

SPORTS By Mirror | July 28th 2015

Manchester United are moving closer to signing Barcelona star Pedro and taking their summer spending through the £100million barrier, writes David McDonnell in Chicago.

United executive vice-chairman flew back out to the US for talks with Pedro’s agent ahead of the friendly with Barca in San Jose, which the Reds won 3-1.

Woodward has since flown back to the UK and it is understood United are ready to meet Pedro’s release clause of £22million to complete the deal.

Pedro, 27, has played 318 games for Barca, scoring 98 goals, and has 51 caps for Spain. He is concerned at his lack of game-time at Barca ahead of Euro 2016 next summer.

There is little chance of Pedro playing regularly at Barca next season, with their front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar established as the club’s attacking triumvirate.

That is why Pedro is ready to end his long association with Barca, with the Catalan club understood to have told him he can leave this summer.

United boss Louis van Gaal identified Pedro as the man to replace Angel Di Maria, who is poised to join Paris St Germain in a deal worth around £46m.

Di Maria did not join up with the United squad in San Jose after failing to board a flight, with PSG believing they are close to agreeing a deal for the British record £59.7m playmaker.

PSG are understood to want to pay around £35m for Di Maria, with United demanding £45m, the big discrepancy over the fee the reason the deal has been held up.

But with the Pedro deal moving closer, Di Maria’s switch to PSG is looking a formality, with the French champions likely to have to raise their offer in the next 48 hours.

Di Maria began his United career brightly following his move from Real Madrid, but his form soon dwindled as he lost faith in van Gaal’s methods and playing in England.

An attempted break-in at his family’s home in Cheshire – while they were inside the property – further unsettled Di Maria and his wife, who was determined to leave England.

United did all they could to help Di Maria resolve his issues, but the 27-year-old was adamant he wanted out of England after just one season in the Premier League.

United have already spent £80m on Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin this summer, and have also signed goalkeeper Sergio Romero on a free.

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