Pedro has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United and Chelsea. Getty

Manchester United have stepped up their efforts to sign Barcelona star Pedro as chief executive Ed Woodward flew to Catalunya to seal the deal.

The treble winners were set to play Athletic Bilbao in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup as Luis Enrique's side were looking to overcome a 4-0 first leg deficit. The Champions League winners lost the Spanish Super Cup after a second leg match at Camp Nou ended in a 1-1 draw.

Pedro started for Barcelona as the Spain international, along with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, were leading the attack against Bilbao. The Daily Mail claims Woodward hopes to have positive talks in helping Red Devils seal the deal.

United manager Louis van Gaal had earlier admitted the new signings must have "speed and creativity". The Dutchman has slight reservations over Pedro's pace, but the 20-time English champions will still go ahead and sign the forward.

Pedro has seen his first team opportunities limited as he has fallen down the pecking order behind Messi, Suarez and Brazil international Neymar. The Barcelona manager said the saga surrounding his player's future would end soon.

The Daily Mail also suggests the Old Trafford club are aware of Chelsea's ongoing interest in Pedro, who is valued to be around £22m ($34.3m). United are confident of beating the Premier League champions for the 28-year-old's signature.

According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Woodward held talks with Barça's director of sporting institutional relations Albert Soler and director Raul Sanllehi to complete a deal for Pedro.

After Barcelona sealed a 5-4 win over Sevilla in the Uefa Super Cup, where Pedro scored the winner, the forward admitted a move to United would be a nice challenge.

"Manchester? Yes, there are nice challenges on all sides. Today I'm here, and I'm happy. And if I go, I will go with my head held high having always given everything," Pedro explained.

"The truth is that I had a good chance to play [in the Super Cup]. The coach has decided not to count on me. I don't know, I don't know if I will continue here."