Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Pedro started from the bench against Sevilla because of tactical reasons not for his imminent move to Manchester United

That the versatile attacker did not start against Sevilla had nothing to do with his desire to leave the Catalans for Manchester United, the president says
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has stressed that Pedro did not start Tuesday's 5-4 Uefa Super Cup win over
Sevilla from the bench because he is set to leave the club for Manchester United, but that his substitute role was the result of a tactical decision from Luis Enrique instead.
The 28-year-old was widely expected to start in Georgia due to the absence of Neymar, but Luis Enrique opted to give Rafinha the nod instead. The winger eventually came on and proved decisive as he scored the winning goal late in injury time, prodding home the rebound from a Lionel Messi shot.
Pedro is set to leave Barca for United in the upcoming weeks after both clubs reached an agreement, but Neymar's contraction of the mumps has put the deal on hold for now.
Technical secretary Robert Fernandez confirmed ahead of Tuesday's encounter that Pedro has asked to leave the club, though the winger himself denied it.
Either way, the club chief insists his place on the bench was unrelated to his desire to move on.
"Pedro being on the bench was purely a tactical decision," Bartomeu told
Antena3 .
"We've got a lot of players in the squad and it's hard to make the starting XI. It has nothing to do with Pedro leaving.
"Rafinha started the match because he's a great player."

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