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Barcelona Transfer News: Pedro Return Wanted by Jordi Alba Amid Latest Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2016

Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Pedro chases the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on May 2, 2016. / AFP / BEN STANSALL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
BEN STANSALL/Getty Images

Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba is hopeful that Chelsea winger Pedro will return to the Camp Nou, as he believes he could be "vital" for the Blaugrana.

Pedro, 28, departed Barca for Stamford Bridge last summer in a £21.4 million deal, ending an 11-year spell at the club. But Alba is eager to see him return, per Omnisport (via the Daily Star's Jamie Styles):

He made history with Barcelona and he is a great friend of mine. One of the few friends I have in football.

Hopefully I can share many great moments with him. He has all the attributes to succeed with Barcelona, hopefully he can come back.

He left, but I think it is vital for the team to have him as a player.

Pedro recently said he had already spoken to Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu about a return to the Catalan giants, per beIN Sports (h/t Sport, via Jonathan Green of the Daily Star):

Hopefully (I can return to Barcelona) but I know it's hard. I have already spoken about it with the president when we (Barcelona) were in the (Spanish Cup) final (when Barcelona beat Sevilla 2-0 last month) and spoke to all the people who want me there. 

It's complicated, but I've always said that I would like to retire at Barcelona. However, I know it's difficult because the years go by and the club has the best players in the world, it is a very demanding club and to return is complicated. But I do not rule it out either.

He added that he departed Barca in the first place because "the possibilities (of playing) were low," and it is unlikely his first-team prospects would be any better were he to return.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are still the undisputed first choices in the attacking positions under manager Luis Enrique, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Given the volume of matches Barca play, they do need better back-up in the forward areas, and Bleacher Report's Dean Jones has backed a move for Celta Vigo's Nolito in order to provide the necessary further cover:

However, Pedro could be a similarly good option, and his knowledge of the current setup at Barca would make him an attractive target.

Many expected the former Barcelona man to flourish following his move to Stamford Bridge, as he would finally be one of the star men in the side and have more first-team opportunities.

His debut season did not go well, though. Chelsea failed miserably in their title defence, and Pedro netted seven times and provided two assists in 29 Premier League appearances, per WhoScored.com.

Clearly, he is unsettled at Chelsea, and it is unlikely the Blues hierarchy and fans would be unhappy to see him return to Barca, but they will surely want to recoup as much of the £21.4 million they paid for him as possible.

Barca are not expected to spend big money on any attacking players this summer, and Nolito, with a release clause of €18 million (£14.3 million), looks the obvious purchase given his quality, per Spanish football writers Ed Malyon and David Cartlidge:

David Cartlidge @davidjaca

@eaamalyon Trigger the Nolito release clause, and job done. Cheap, talented, Lucho knows him etc. No brainer on many levels.

Certainly, in economic terms, Nolito looks a better option than Pedro, not least because it would arguably be wasteful of Barca to spend £20 million on a player who has already not made the grade at the club.

Although he had great successes at the Camp Nou—he won five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues—he never quite nailed down a first-team spot or truly contended for one, and he may prove too expensive for a back-up.

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