Manchester United's attempts to sign Barcelona winger Pedro are likely to be prolonged into next week after the 28 year old was named in the squad for the Spanish Super Cup clash with Athletic Bilbao.
Pedro is ready to leave the Nou Camp this summer in search of first team football having faced the near-impossible task of displacing one of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez in their attack last season. Sky Sports claims United have been told they must pay the player's £21m ($32.8m) release clause but Louis van Gaal indicated during his press conference on Thursday that the final decision now rests with the player.
The Pedro saga has dominated United's transfer agenda for a number of weeks now and it was initially thought a deal could be struck prior to Barcelona's Uefa Super Cup meeting with Sevilla on Tuesday – a game where he struck a dramatic extra time winner to seal a 5-4 win.
While that win in Tbilisi was thought to be his last game for the club, Pedro could still have a further role to play after being named in the 18-man squad that has travelled to Bilbao for their first leg clash the with Copa Del Rey runners, as confirmed by the club's official website. The Catalan giants are expected to name another squad ahead of the second leg back in Barcelona on Monday.
Talk of Pedro's future was further complicated by conflicting reports prior to and after Barcelona's win over Sevilla. Robert Fernandez, Barcelona's new sporting director, claimed ahead of kick off the winger had asked to leave the club, only for Pedro to deny those claims after netting the game's winner, as reported by The Guardian.
Manager Luis Enrique admitted this week that the situation this week with Pedro has been awkward, but believes he can still contribute in the club's quest to secure their fifth honour of 2015."I do not make decisions based on the transfer market. He did not play as a starter [in the European Super Cup] because he withdrew from training a few days before, his position is an unusual and difficult one," the Barcelona boss was quoted as saying by AS.
"His situation is a contradiction because he wants to stay but he always wants more minutes. I'll continue to use the players I deem best to face each particular game. I'm looking forward to the end of the transfer window for everything to be decided."