Pedro set to join Chelsea as Man United end interest - sources

Chelsea are close to usurping Manchester United in the pursuit of Barcelona winger, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC, with the Old Trafford club ending their interest in the Spain international.

Chelsea have agreed to pay a fee of €28 million (£19.7m) with a further €2m (£1.4m) in add-ons to sign the winger, who underwent a medical in London on Wednesday, according to sources.

United had long been expected to close a deal for the 28-year-old, with the Spain international having agreed terms with the Old Trafford club, only for executive vice chairman Ed Woodward to encounter frustration in negotiations with Barca.

Once aware of that, Chelsea decided to immediately act on Jose Mourinho's own long-held interest in the player, and the green light was given at Stamford Bridge to try to hijack the move in the manner they did to Tottenham Hotspur with Willian two years ago.

On Wednesday, sources said that United have ended their interest in signing the winger, despite Louis van Gaal's previous praise for the player.

Pedro has a £22m release clause in his contract at Camp Nou and United had considered that a reasonable amount. But although the Spaniard is a player manager Van Gaal liked, the fact he opted not to activate the buyout clause over the past few weeks is a sign the Dutchman harboured doubts about whether to purchase him.

ESPN FC was told that conversations with former Barcelona teammates such as Cesc Fabregas and Victor Valdes have caused Pedro to reconsider his own first preference.

Fabregas enjoyed a successful debut season with Chelsea, winning the Premier League, while Valdes has been marginalised under Van Gaal at United.

Should the deal go through, as is now widely expected, Chelsea will seek to sell Juan Cuadrado less than nine months after his move from Fiorentina.

ESPN FC correspondent Richard Jolly contributed to this report.