Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta doesn’t want to consider the possibility that Spanish international teammate Pedro Rodriguez could be entering his final days as a Barca player.
Pedro has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United before the transfer window closes at the end of the month after seeing his first-team opportunities squeezed by the arrivals of Neymar and Luis Suarez in the past two summers.
Yet, the 28-year-old looks set to start as Barca attempt to add the UEFA Super Cup to their trophy haul of Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey from last season against Sevilla on Tuesday after Neymar was ruled out for two weeks after contracting the mumps.
“As of today we are not thinking that we could lose him,” Iniesta said ahead of the match in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.
“He continues to be our teammate and he is here to win the first title (of the season). Hopefully, as a teammate and a player he can continue with us because he is a world class player.”
Dani Alves turned down the chance to make the move from Barcelona to Old Trafford earlier in the summer after signing a new two-year deal with the European champions and said he would understand if Pedro was tempted by a lucrative offer from the free-spending Premier League side.
“It is a decision for him and what his heart feels,” added the Brazilian.
“If he stays we will be delighted and if he leaves we have to respect that decision.”
Whether the World Cup and European Championship winner stays or goes, with Barca unable to register any new players until January, Barca boss Luis Enrique is just keen for the window to close.
“Like any coach I would like to have all my players for the whole season,” he said.
“We have already spoken about Pedro a lot and there will be a solution shortly because the market will close.”
Barca will also be without left-back Jordi Alba through injury as they look to stay on course to match the historic achievement of Pep Guardiola’s Barca side in 2009 by winning six trophies in a calendar year.
Sevilla have even more severe injury problems, though, as new signing Steven NA?Zonzi, Daniel Carrico and Dani Pareja are out, whilst centre-backs Adil Rami and Timothee Kolodziejczak are doubts due to a bout of gastroenteritis.