Chelsea seal €30m Pedro deal as City swoop for Otamendi

The Premier League’s top two flexed their muscle yesterday spending more than £50 million (€70m) on new talent yesterday.

Spanish international Pedro arrived at Chelsea on a four-year deal yesterday worth €30m, while City took their summer spending past €140m with the signing of Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia for around £31.5m (€44m).

The signings show where the real financial power in the Premier League currently stands.

Pedro says he was convinced to move to the Premier League champions by Jose Mourinho and Cesc Fabregas.

The Spain winger, who had been a target of Manchester United, immediately trained with his new team-mates at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground and could make his debut in Sunday’s match at West Brom.

It was Mourinho and Fabregas, whose first season at Stamford Bridge ended with a Premier League and Capital One Cup double, who persuaded Pedro to join the Blues.

Pedro said: “He (Mourinho) is one of the main reasons why I’m here. He phoned me a few times and said he needed me to make the team stronger.

“He has won titles wherever he has been. I am really looking forward to playing under him and hopefully winning more titles.

“I spoke to Cesc. We are very good friends. I knew I would feel at home here and that was one of the main reasons why I decided to join.

“He’s a great player, he’s got brilliant vision and he links up really well with the other attacking players. I know we work well together on the pitch so I can’t wait to play with him again.

“I have also played with Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta before, for the national team, so I feel very comfortable here.”

Pedro had been a target for United throughout the summer, with the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward flying to Catalonia on Monday. But things changed rapidly on Wednesday as it emerged that United boss Louis van Gaal had withdrawn his interest while Chelsea were moving to steal a march on their rivals.

Mourinho has acted quickly and decisively in the transfer market after Chelsea endured their worst start to a season in 17 years. Shortly after their 3-0 defeat at City, Chelsea signed left-back Baba Rahman from Augsburg for £21m, and Pedro’s arrival gives Mourinho’s side fresh attacking intent.

The Blues also hope to conclude the signing of Everton defender John Stones before the transfer window shuts on September 1.

Meanwhile, City could yet continue their spending spree before the September 1 deadline, with Manuel Pellegrini still apparently interested in Wolfsburg midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, for whom they reportedly made a £47m offer last week. City have started the season impressively, beating both West Brom and champions Chelsea 3-0.

But that has not stopped their determination to strengthen with Otamendi swelling central defensive ranks that include his former Porto team-mate Eliaquim Mangala and international colleague Martin Demichelis, as well as captain Vincent Kompany.

It was initially claimed Mangala could be loaned to Valencia in exchange but City did not want to lose the £42m Frenchman, who has looked solid in both opening games.

No financial details have been revealed by either club but it is thought Valencia were hoping to use the sale to write off part of the fee they still owe City for striker Alvaro Negredo.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “Nicolas Otamendi was arguably the best defender in La Liga last season and so naturally I’m delighted to have added a player of his quality.

“As a footballer, Nicolas has all of the qualities to be a success in the Premier League – he’s strong, he’s excellent in the tackle and he’s very good technically.”


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