Recent Chelsea signing Pedro has denied reports that he turned down a move to Manchester United to avoid working under coach Louis van Gaal. Pedro, 28, signed for Chelsea last month from Barcelona despite reported interest from the Red Devils.
It was widely reported that conversations with former Barca teammates such as Cesc Fabregas and Victor Valdes caused Pedro to reconsider United, while reports in Spain suggested his doubts were due to the strained relationship between Van Gaal and some of his Spanish players. Van Gaal announced in July that Valdes has no future at Old Trafford and has left the former Barca goalkeeper out of his Champions League squad, while David De Gea has not played this season and missed out on a deadline day move to Real Madrid.
But when asked if his decision to join Chelsea and not United was based on the difficult situation between Van Gaal and his Spanish keepers, Pedro told Marca: “No. It’s true that I don’t like that treatment for my colleagues, especially for Victor, who has been a reference as a teammate and as a professional. “I don’t believe it’s fair but it didn’t influence my decision.”
Pedro — who scored on his debut to help Chelsea to a 3-2 win over West Brom on Aug. 22 — says the Blues were more proactive in acquiring his services, adding: “I just saw that Manchester didn’t take that step, that they were taking too long and I needed a team to start. Chelsea were more decisive.”
Pedro, who is in Madrid with the Spain national team preparing for Euro 2016 qualifying games against Slovakia and Macedonia, says he spoke to former Barca teammate Valdes before making his decision.
“Yes, a lot,” he said. “He told me that the club [United] was very good and there was a great fan following, that his only problem was the situation with the coach.”
When asked if Valdes recommended that he not sign for United because of Van Gaal, Pedro answered: “Absolutely not. He spoke very well of the club. It’s a great club but I believe I have chosen well to join Chelsea, I’m convinced. “I had an important chat with [Chelsea coach Jose] Mourinho, who told me that he wanted me, that with me they would have a better team and he said many things that I liked to hear. “That combined with the possibility to live in London was what made me decide.”
Pedro signed a four-year contract with Chelsea and so far is thrilled.