Chelsea new signing Pedro Rodriguez has said he was most “convinced” by the Premier League champions’ offer after months of speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United and Manchester City.
The 28-year-old Spaniard scored on his debut for the Blues in a 3-2 win away to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Pedro’s move to Chelsea was well considered a transfer coup by many having being heavily linked with a big money transfer to United this summer, while City were also understood to be keeping close watch on him.
Speaking at his farewell news conference with Barcelona on Monday, Pedro confirmed he had had offers from the two Manchester clubs, but feels “real chances” of winning titles could only be offered by Chelsea.
“I was very flattered by the interest from some of England’s biggest clubs – United, City and Chelsea; Chelsea were the quickest to get a deal sorted out and closed,” Pedro is quoted as saying by AS.
“There is a real chance of winning silverware at Chelsea and that was what convinced me and motivates me.”
He added: “I never imagined that one day I would be leaving this club and I felt a bit strange pulling on my new shirt, and at the same time happy with how it all turned out.
“The hardest part is saying goodbye to my team mates and the people who work at the club. I’ve also felt the affection that the fans have for me. But as the boss said, I had to go.”
A product of Barca’s La Masia academy, Pedro scored 39 goals in 326 appearances since his debut in 2008.
He made 50 appearances last season and won his third Champions League winner’s medal with the Baulgranas same season. The winger, who could also be employed on the centre-forward position, won the La Liga five times during his stay at the Camp Nou.
On meeting Barca in the future: “I’d prefer not to be back here on the opposing side; if it does happen, I am sure it would feel very strange.”
On deciding to depart Barca: “We knew that it was an option at the end of last season. I’ve always wanted playing time and here, it was difficult for me to have that continuity. Leaving was the best solution and now I am looking forward to a new challenge.”