Football: Sergio Busquets hints Pedro may leave Barcelona for Manchester United

Barcelona's forward Pedro Rodriguez (left), Barcelona's midfielder Sergio Busquets (centre) and Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique take part in a training session.
Barcelona's forward Pedro Rodriguez (left), Barcelona's midfielder Sergio Busquets (centre) and Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique take part in a training session.PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO (GUARDIAN) - Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets has hinted that Barcelona teammate Pedro, a target for Manchester United, could leave the Catalan club for more game-time.

The forward is wanted by Louis van Gaal to bolster his attacking options and Pedro, who has a £22 million (S$47 million) release clause, is considering a move to Old Trafford.

Said Busquets, speaking before Saturday's tour match with Manchester United in Santa Clara: "Yes, I have spoken to him but I won't tell you what he said. It was a private conversation.

"I would want him to stay, I would love him to stay. He is a friend of mine and it will be his final decision. He wants to play more and get more minutes. That's what he wants.

"But we are in a team of great players and it's hard for him. Finally it will be his decision but I hope he stays."

If the 27-year-old Pedro were signed by Van Gaal he could operate alongside Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay in the front line of the manager's planned 4-3-3 shape next season.

Busquets featured in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals, both of which Barcelona won against United.

Asked if Van Gaal's side could be a threat in next season's competition, the midfielder said: "They are a big club. Last year and maybe still this year they have been a team under construction. They have new players and a relatively new coach.

"They will need time but they are still competitive. We will see what happens in the future."

Busquets admitted being concerned about being drawn against United if they negotiate the final knockout phase in August.

"They can win the Champions (League). So I am relatively worried (about facing them). I have always seen Old Trafford on the TV and I would love to play there."