Arsenal have attempted to trump rivals Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Roma with a cheeky opening offer of €28m for Colombian wing wizard Juan Cuadrado, which has swiftly rejected by Fiorentina as they play hardball over a fee for one of the World Cup's standout stars.
Cuadrado has been linked with a string of top European teams on the strength of his consistent form for club and country over the last 12 months, but Spanish newspaper Sport believes that the Gunners are the only club to actually approach the Serie A club with a formal bid.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger may be ready to spend big on Cuadrado, but there two huge obstacles standing in the way of one of the World Cup's most exciting, dynamic players making a summer switch to the Premier League.
Firstly there is a huge desire from Cuadrado to make a dream move to Barcelona, with Sport going as far as saying he has a verbal agreement with the Catalan giants over terms despite Fiorentina having no contact with the La Liga giants at this stage.
Tough talks in Tuscany
More prominently there's the issue of negotiating a fee with Fiorentina for their star player, with the Tuscan outfit in a very strong negotiating position after acquiring full rights to the winger's registration last month in an agreement with Udinese.
Cuadrado is now under contract with Fiorentina until 2017 and as a result La Viola owner Andrea Della Valle is ready to negotiate fiercely in a bid to secure the highest possible fee for a player at the peak of his powers, which is why Arsenal's opening offer was seen as derisory and swiftly turned down.
Della Valle is scheduled to meet Cuadrado's agent Alessandro Lucci later this week to discuss the best course of action for both parties, but if the player gets his way it will be Barca rather than Arsenal or United who had something pretty unique to their squad.
Roma and Bayern have asked to be kept up to speed with developments, but for now Arsenal are the only club to begin the arduous process of thrashing out terms and remain confident they are the frontrunners in this particular transfer tussle.
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