Any hopes Liverpool still held of signing Barcelona forward Pedro this summer have been dashed after the player revealed Luis Enrique's arrival as club manager has given him renewed belief in his Camp Nou potential.
Pedro described Barca as his "lifelong club" in recent comments made during La Blaugrana's pre-season training camp in Burton upon Trent, per Spanish newspaper Marca:
My plan has always been to stay here. Also, I knew that Luis Enrique was coming in and because I've had him as a coach and he knows me, those were the deciding factors for me to remain at the club. I never hesitated. [Barca] are my lifelong club and I'm delighted to be here for another year.
The winger may have seemed an unrealistic target for the Reds in any case, regardless of their vigorous raid during the summer transfer window.
In late June, the Express' Jamie Anderson reported that Pedro could be offered to Liverpool—along with Cristian Tello—in order to negotiate a deal for Luis Suarez, whom Barcelona have since purchased for £75 million.
However, the possibility for such a deal never became a serious consideration.
Pedro was one of the more impressive attacking figures in an otherwise disappointing 2013-14 season for Barca under Gerardo Martino's command, during which he scored 15 goals and made eight assists in 28 La Liga starts, per Squawka.
Having worked with Enrique in Barcelona's reserve set-up several years ago, Pedro will seek to use that relationship to his advantage, becoming an even more crucial part of the Spaniard's squad.
The official Barcelona Twitter account gives further quotes of Pedro's belief in the new helmsman:
Brendan Rodgers had likely already turned his back on the Pedro option, but he will continue in his squad remodelling this summer with a view to purchasing the best talent available, promising Liverpool "still have some business to do."
The Reds have already spent in excess of £85 million this summer to acquire the services of Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Emre Can, Divock Origi and Rickie Lambert.
However, Rodgers has told the official club website there's still space in the first-team squad, whether it's for those rising through the club's youth ranks or via the transfer market:
We still have some positions that we want to fill within the squad so that by the end of August we have a strong group of players to go forward with. We've still got some business to do.
Every player has an opportunity. Seba [Coates] was out for a lot of last season. He's done well in pre-season, he has been very composed on the ball and he passes it well. ... We've brought in specific players for specific roles, players that have the profile of how we work. It's going to take a little bit more time than normal in terms of their induction.
But for a lot of the players that have come in, the transition has been very smooth—they are good characters with good personality and fit the criteria that we want in terms of the model of our game. That should make the adjustment that bit easier. Of course some of them are young and coming to a different country, like Emre Can. That will take a little bit of time.
The money spent thus far has been in part funded by the £75 million sale of Suarez to Barcelona, and the Uruguayan's absence will undoubtedly be a trial for the club to overcome.
However, Rodgers also affirmed his belief in Suarez's fellow 2013-14 star Daniel Sturridge, per the official Liverpool Twitter account, proclaiming the England international is capable of higher standards:
The Reds' spending has been likened to that of Tottenham's in 2013 upon their £85.3 million sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, after which the club brought in a wealth of talent, but not all of those arrivals proved to be valuable purchases.
However, the Merseysiders have finalised Suarez's sale much earlier this summer, reinvesting their money even more swiftly, and they are expected to once again challenge for a Champions League finish.
The old saying goes that money doesn't buy you success, but when spent in an efficient and proper manner, the adage may have found an exception in football, with Liverpool likely to keep adding to their ranks before the Sept. 1 deadline.
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