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Manchester United left red faced as Chelsea hijack prime target Pedro

By Jim Gracey

Bewildered Manchester United fans will now take reports of their club's pursuit of Bayern Munich's German World Cup-winning striker Thomas Muller with a pinch of salt.

United have been left looking embarrassed and inept in their latest transfer dealings by Chelsea's hi-jacking of Barcelona winger Pedro's expected move to Old Trafford, despite claiming it was they who pulled out of the deal.

Pedro (28) is now in talks with Chelsea over a £21m move after a personal phone call intervention from Blues boss Jose Mourinho.

A follow-up United announcement that they had made a bid to sign Southampton's 23-year-old Senegalese winger Sadio Mane last week is being seen as a clumsy damage limitation exercise.

Saints immediately responded that the player is not for sale. Mane was signed from Red Bull Salzburg last summer for £10million, scoring 10 goals in 32 appearances in his first season, including the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history in a 6-1 win over Aston Villa.

Likewise Bayern Munich dismissed reports of a £60million United bid for Thomas Muller.

The German would be the signing of the century for United but dismayed fans, unused to the very public rejections their club has experienced over failed bids to sign first Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and now Pedro, will not hold their breath on manager Louis van Gaal making it third time lucky.

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