Pedro Rodriguez (centre) smiles during a training session.
Premier League champions Chelsea have pipped Manchester United to the signing of Spain winger Pedro Rodriguez from Barcelona, according to British press reports on Wednesday.
The BBC reported that Chelsea had agreed a fee of £21 million (29.8m euros, $32.9m) with the reigning European champions and that the 28-year-old was on a flight to London to finalise the terms of the transfer.
If completed, the deal will bring an end to a summer-long transfer saga surrounding Pedro, who had been linked to Manchester City as well as United, although it was the Old Trafford club who appeared most likely to sign him.
Pedro scored the winning goal for Barcelona in last week's dramatic 5-4 extra-time defeat of Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup in Tbilisi.
However, he has fallen down the pecking order at the Camp Nou under Luis Enrique, who has preferred the all-star front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez and has used the Canary-Islands born player more sparingly.
Meanwhile, new-signing Baba Rahman hopes his versatility and crossing skills will come in handy in Chelsea's Premier League title defence this season.
Rahman, who joined from Augsburg, attempted more crosses than any other player in the Bundesliga last season and hopes to create more chances for the Blues.
"I'm a left-back and, as a defender, it's important for me to be strong in the tackle, which I always try to be. I also like to get forward as much as possible and help the team in attack," the 21-year-old told the club website(www.chelseafc.com).
"I can play as a winger but I haven't played in midfield for a while.
"It's very important because obviously if you can provide crosses from out wide there is a higher chance of providing assists and chances for the team," he added.
He is the third Ghanaian to sign for the champions following Michael Essien and Christian Atsu and Rahman said Essien, who was at the club for eight and a half years, had been influential in his move to the West London club.
Pedro Rodriguez (centre) smiles during a training session. — AFP