Barcelona are set to launch a €35 million transfer bid for Fiorentina star Juan Cuadrado just one day after Manchester United submitted a bid of the same amount, reports Spanish newspaper Sport.
The attacking winger thoroughly impressed during Colombia's World Cup campaign, convincing Fiorentina to pay Udinese €10 million to secure full rights to his services. The Viola are now considering cashing in on the player for a quick profit.
Cudardo has no shortage of suitors with both Manchester United and Barcelona heavily interested. Louis van Gaal's men submitted a €35 million bid on Monday, but Luis Enrique will respond by matching that bid on Tuesday.
Bayern Munich remain interested as well although, as of yet, Pep Guardiola has not showed his hands with a transfer bid. They have instead been linked with a move for Marco Reus with the Bavarian club reportedly planning a move for the German next summer.
That has left Manchester United and Barcelona to fight it out for their signature. By the end of today, Fiorentina will have two bids on their table. Whether they accept them or not is another matter.
Fiorentina are believed to be holding out for a fee of over €40 million for Cuadrado but understand his stock is never likely to be higher than after his good World Cup performance. They are seeking the best fee, but may accept less than the asking price if club's refuse to go higher.
Barcelona won't be worried about beating Manchester United's transfer bid. They know if both their bids are accepted, they will be firm favourites to land Cuadrado.
Not only does the Nou Camp offer the chance to play with the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar, they also have Champions League football on offer next season. Meanwhile, Old Trafford won't host any European football under Van Gaal next season.
Manchester United's advantage lies in their financial strength. Barcelona have already blown a significant portion of their transfer budget of Luis Suarez. If Van Gaal wanted to, he could bid higher for Cuadrado and simply price Barcelona out of a move.
Fiorentina would obviously accept the highest bid. Whether Van Gaal is ready to increase his opening offer is unknown but it is clear he may have to if he wants to land the winger.