New Chelsea signing Pedro Rodriguez has admitted that both Manchester United and Manchester City tried to secure his services this summer, but said the Blues were the quickest to close the deal. The Spaniard added that his desire to get more first team playing time was the key factor in his decision to leave Barcelona for Stamford Bridge.
The Spanish forward was a crucial player for the Catalan big boys during the Pep Guardiola era, but he saw opportunities restricted last season due to the arrival of Luis Suarez from Liverpool. With Lionel Messi and Neymar also ahead of him in Luis Enrique's attacking options, Pedro decided to end his successful spell at the Nou Camp, where he won 20 trophies.
Despite being linked all summer with a move to Old Trafford, the Canary Islander joined Chelsea, after Jose Mourinho agreed to meet his £22m (€34.4m) release clause.
Pedro has now said the Blues were quickest to secure his services, also adding that the promise of working under Mourinho helped him make the move.
"Several English clubs were interested. United, City... But in the end Chelsea acted the quickest and wrapped up the deal," the Spaniard was quoted as saying by Sport during an emotional farewell to Barcelona.
"I talked with Mourinho, it's true he called me. I liked what he said. He convinced me. Living in London with my family was also something I liked, and the fact that I have friends at Chelsea."
The Spaniard also confirmed that the attacking options at Barca was the main reason he opted to leave the Champions League winners.
"Barca is the best club in the world, there's no other place like this. But I've joined a club I like and where I will play more. I'm sad to leave my home, but happy that I've been able to enjoy so much here. I'm ambitious and I knew it would be difficult to have a lot playing time here. I'm happy to have this new challenge," he said.
"Last season was one of my worst, because there was a lot of competition and I didn't have enough playing time. Of course I want to be at the European Championship next year. Who wouldn't? But that wasn't a main reason to leave. I just wanted to play more."
The Spaniard made an impressive debut with the Blues on 23 August, scoring the first goal of the game and setting up Diego Costa for the second in the 3-2 victory at West Brom.
Speaking about his feelings of wearing the Chelsea shirt for the first time, Pedro added: "At the start it felt strange to wear the Chelsea shirt, because I had never imagined I would leave Barca."
"I had a great welcome at Chelsea. I felt comfortable from the start. John [Terry] is a great captain."