Pedro Rodriguez Officially Completes Chelsea Transfer from Barcelona

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured Columnist

PASADENA, UNITED STATES - JULY 21:  Pedro Rodriguez of FC Barcelona during the International Champions Cup 2015 match between FC Barcelona and Los Angeles Galaxy at Rose Bowl on July 21, 2015 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea announced the signing of Pedro Rodriguez on Thursday, a transfer that ends the player's career-long association with Barcelona.

He had been expected to sign for Manchester United, with Manchester City also said to be interested in his services. But Chelsea succeeded with a late swoop after Pedro confessed he needed to leave Barcelona for regular first-team football.

United were said to have "ended their interest" on Wednesday, as tweeted by Mike Keegan of the Daily Mail. Red Devils chief executive Ed Woodward flew to Spain two days earlier to negotiate with Barca, per the Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman, but the two clubs failed to reach common ground over the fee.

Instead, Chelsea landed the talented wideman for €30 million, revealed by Barca.

Pedro leaves Barca under a small cloud. Club secretary Robert Fernandez claimed on TV3 the player forced his own exit by handing in a transfer request, something Pedro rubbished, per Bleacher Report's Rik Sharma on August 11.

On the same day, teammate Lionel Messi publicly supported Pedro's decision to move on, per the Champions League Twitter account: "We want the best for him given what he's given the club."

Barca cannot replace Pedro or register new signings Aleix Vidal or Arda Turan until their transfer ban concludes in January 2016.

Despite his lack of regular playing time last season, the Spain international produced six goals and six assists in 1,531 minutes of La Liga football, per A telling contribution every 128 minutes underlined his ability to make a difference at the top level.

Pedro has won it all at Camp Nou, but he could find a new lease of life at Stamford Bridge.