Stoichkov urges Pedro to reject 'mediocre' United boss Van Gaal

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Barcelona forward Pedro is reportedly close to joining Manchester United but Hristo Stoichkov is against the move.

Former Barcelona star Hristo Stoichkov hit out at Louis van Gaal, insisting he would never play for the Manchester United manager, in an attempt to convince Pedro to remain at Camp Nou.

Spain international forward Pedro has been heavily linked with a move away from Barcelona and he is reportedly set to swap the La Liga champions for United in a bid for regular game time.

Speculation is rife that Pedro will link up with Van Gaal at Old Trafford following Tuesday's UEFA Super Cup clash against Sevilla.

But Bulgarian icon Stoichkov, a five-time La Liga winner and European Cup champion with Barca before falling out with Van Gaal in 1998, issued a warning to the want-away 28-year-old.

"I would never be under the orders of Van Gaal," the 49-year-old told Spanish radio Onda Cero. "He's mediocre.

"He destroyed Barca and is destroying Man Utd.

"With what he has done to goalkeeper [Victor] Valdes he has shown he is a bad person. Hopefully Pedro listens to me and doesn't leave."

This is not the first time Stoichkov has taken aim at the Dutch manager.

Stoichkov blamed Van Gaal for his Barcelona exit 17 years ago, branding his former boss as "scum" in an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe in March.

"I have no respect for him," Stoichkov said.

"One day, when I was injured, I was with my wife at Camp Nou and Van Gaal went up to her.

"He asked her how it was possible that she married someone like me. She responded that I was a Ballon d'Or winner.

"My departure in 1998 was the fault of Van Gaal, for sure."