Chelsea winger Pedro believes it will be "almost impossible" for him to return to Barcelona this summer.
If you ask me if I'd go back, the answer is clear because they're a great club with great players and fans who appreciate me. I've always said that I'd like to retire at Barca, but I know it's very difficult, almost impossible.
Admittedly it seemed like I was going back this summer, but I have a contract with Chelsea, I've only been there for a year and it'd be very difficult for [a return] to happen.
Pedro also addressed speculation that had been fuelled after he talked to Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu during the Copa del Rey final in May, adding: "We talked about the team, not me. When I left, he told me that the doors of the club would always be open, and I said that was very important for me because [Barca] are a club that I can feel. It's where I grew up and was happy."
The Spaniard's first season in English football was largely one to forget, as he netted seven goals and assisted just two in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Chelsea finished 10th amid a disastrous campaign.
Football writer Andrew Gaffney was among many who questioned Pedro's place in Spain's squad for the European Championship ahead of Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez:
Andrew Gaffney @GaffneyVLC
Absolute travesty to see Saúl miss out while the likes of Pedro get a free pass after an awful season. #delbosque https://t.co/YNrV4mvXx42016-5-31 17:38:00
Football journalist Dermot Corrigan explained the thinking behind his selection and in doing so revealed why he deserves another year to prove himself at Chelsea:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
@TalkOfFutbol ha! Pedro been scoring bit more recently than that. He fulfills role in squad nobody else does.2016-6-1 11:49:03
Though he may have had a poor season, Pedro's effectiveness on the flanks—thanks to his pace, intelligence and technical ability—gives him the tools to succeed at Stamford Bridge if given more time and, ideally, a team playing more confidently.
Bleacher Report UK's Garry Hayes captured the 28-year-old's exquisite goal against Newcastle United in February—moments that could become far more regular if Antonio Conte can return Chelsea to their winning ways:
Garry Hayes @garryhayes
That is a lovely finish by Pedro. Excellent anticipation to create the chance from nothing, but what a controlled effort. Lovely stuff. #CFC2016-2-13 17:39:55
Further, while he scored just seven league goals, only Diego Costa netted more for the Blues. According to Squawka, he created 42 chances—hardly an incredible tally, but in a normal season at Chelsea, that would have almost certainly resulted in far more than just two assists.
If Pedro struggles again next season, it would be worth it for the Blues to cut their losses. But he's still an excellent player who could yet make his career in England a successful one.