Manchester United, Barcelona set for talks over Pedro transfer - sources

Manchester United will meet with representatives of both Barcelona and winger Pedro in the United States over the weekend, as they hope to complete a deal for the 27-year-old by the middle of next week, sources have told ESPN FC.

The two clubs face each other in a preseason friendly on Saturday in San Francisco, and that could lead to a move for the winger being done in the space of a few days.

Barcelona's public statements over the past week have indicated that they are resigned to losing Pedro, who wants more regular first-team football, despite manager Luis Enrique's insistence that the 27-year-old stay as a back-up to their stellar attacking trident of Leo Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

His United counterpart Louis van Gaal sees Pedro as the ideal type of wide-player in his system, despite some slight reservations about the player's pace.

The Barcelona forward will likely end up as a direct replacement for Angel Di Maria, whose exit seems increasingly likely. All of those who work around the Argentina insist he will not be a Manchester United player by the end of this transfer window, and move to Paris Saint-Germain, despite what have been strained negotiations between the two clubs.

The main sticking point has been over valuation and any potential payment structure, although there is a willingness on both sides to eventually do the deal.

The feeling at Old Trafford is that Di Maria will never really settle at the club, and they can't take the risk on another disappointing season. The Argentine national team management reportedly felt during the Copa America that Van Gaal had "destroyed" Di Maria's "football rhythm," and sources say he has very little relationship with Van Gaal.

Beyond that, United also intend to sign a central defender and a forward this summer, although both could go right until the end of the window.

As Van Gaal has publicly stated, the primary defensive target is Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, and United's current position is that the only way that David De Gea will go to the Bernabeu -- as has long been anticipated -- is if the central defender goes the other way.

The majority of officials at Old Trafford feel that the Spanish club won't ultimately allow Ramos to leave, although the defender's camp are insistent that a deal is possible.

United's continued interest in the 29-year-old is then double-fold, both to maintain a strong stance in the De Gea situation, but also because there may yet be a genuine possibility that Ramos leaves the Bernabeu. As a consequence, it is unlikely that United will move for any other centre-half until the situation with Real is resolved.

Van Gaal has not made a final decision on which forwards to pursue, either, but is insistent the club must sign one before the window ends. Despite obvious interest in stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo, if such moves suddenly became possible, neither is currently seen as realistic.