Pedro turns 28 in the summer and has pretty much won more than enough to be satisfied with his career. He has played a key role for both Barcelona and the Spanish national team with his intelligence, passing, reliable finishing, and his understanding of the game. However, there are three gentlemen who form currently the most devastating attack in world football, and with his contract expiring in 2016, the 27-year-old could be available on the cheap in the summer.
Liverpool are embroiled in a new transfer saga surrounding Raheem Sterling, and the contract rebel scamp attracts fresh headlines every day. The power of Sterling compels you! If the successor to the master of nefarious and diabolical acts does leave for a fee deemed to be suitable by the club, would Adam Lallana, Jordon Ibe, and Lazar Marković be enough to support of an effective (we can only hope) striker or two next season? Philippe Coutinho would presumably feature in a more central position, and his recent awards along with recognition from the PFA have underlined how central the Brazilian international is to Liverpool's chances of success.
Scooping a World Cup winner up and telling him that Liverpool is the best next step for his career won't be easy. £7 million is the mooted fee for his services, and the usual English transfer suspects are believed to be in the race for his signature with Internazionle reportedly monitoring the situation. Beating clubs that can offer Champions League football such as Chelsea and Arsenal won't be easy, Tottenham Hotspur are usually a close rival for players, and Pedro's wages would be sizeable. Would he leave Barcelona this summer?
Pedro has been a squad player this season and experienced the lowest amount of La Liga minutes since breaking through in 2009. He's made 14 starts with 20 substitute appearances for a total of 1441 league minutes, typical of a squad player. His eight appearances in the Champions League to date were evenly split between starting and appearing from the bench, which isn't exactly terrible. He's broken the 2000 league minutes barrier — a good sign of regular football — four out of the past five seasons prior to this campaign. Even when he didn't manage to feature as much in 2011/12, thanks to the arrival of Alexis Sánchez and growing prominence of rival attacking La Masia pups, he made 20 starts and a further 9 sub appearances in the league before featuring heavily over the next two seasons.
The smart play for the Barcelona attacker would be to see how next season pans out and leave on a Bosman where he'd be even more of an attractive prospect, a bit like James Milner. Pedro has proved his worth to various Barcelona managers as he is a good professional, understands the culture and expectations at the club, scores goals, plays well with both feet enabling comfort on both sides of the attack, and gels easily with other players on the pitch. Pedro may decide to stay and see off another set of rivals, but with Luis Suárez in the middle of a front three, it is unlikely that Lionel Messi or Neymar will lose their respective wide berths to the Canary Islands native. Injuries may give him more minutes in 2015/16, but being a trusted and respected Barcelona squad player isn't a bad life at all.
If Pedro leaves this summer, Thursday nights in the Europa League are unlikely to attract him. Sell Sterling for £50 million, replace him with the man who scored in six different club competitions in a single season, acquire a striker worthy of Steven Gerrard wages, and use the change to strengthen elsewhere sounds like a somewhat sensible, albeit unlikely plan. Euro 2016 participation could drive and halt a few moves this coming summer, so that could be play a role for the likes of Pedro. Competitive wages, an ambitious plan, and regular playing time could combine to give a club without Champions League football a chance, but for now, this is one of those stories to keep an eye on without much expectation.
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