Following the arrival of Christian Benteke, Liverpool look well stocked in attack heading into the 2015-16 season, but rumours in Spain linking them with Barcelona winger Pedro refuse to go away. A week after reports claimed Liverpool remained interested in him as Raheem Sterling’s replacement, and days after rumours he was set to head to Manchester United instead, it’s time for another round.
Despite the talk he could be headed to United early in the week after English outlets claimed they were ready to trigger his release, Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona have heard nothing suggesting that’s going to happen. Manager Luis Enrique, though, says that if a team is willing to match Pedro’s £21 release clause, he won’t stand in his way and that the 27-year-old will be allowed to leave the Catalan giants.
Release clauses in Spain work a little differently, as when a club outside the country triggers one they are obliged to pay a near 100% tax on it—and they have to pay it all up front. Barcelona, though, appear willing to deal. It’s just that as was the case with Benteke and Aston Villa, they’re only willing to deal if somebody is willing to pay a fee equal to the release. And it seems that United aren't going to be that team.
Mundo Deportivo and, subsequently, the Daily Star believe that all adds up to Pedro likely heading to Liverpool shortly based on earlier reports of interest. However, those earlier reports suggested Liverpool were looking to pay around £14M for him, while his release reportedly stands a full 50% higher. If Barcelona are insistent on getting £21M for Pedro, it is far less likely Liverpool are serious contenders to sign him.
So far this summer Liverpool have spent around £40M net, and while there may be a little more cash for the right target and a bit to be recouped from sales, £21M on another attacker at this point seems highly unlikely. If there is still to be significant spending, a holding midfielder like Madrid’s £14M-rated Asier Illaramendi or left back like PSG’s £10M Lucas Digne seem far likelier—and far more sensible—targets.