Manchester United have been thwarted by Barcelona in their efforts to secure a quick deal for Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado. The Red Devils had submitted a £28 million bid, but a late offer from Barcelona could see the Colombia star’s price rise to above the £30 million-mark.
The Express report that Barcelona have submitted their own lucrative offer for the 26-year-old, leaving United poised to enter a fierce bidding war with the La Liga giants.
Cuadrado: Perfect for United and Barcelona
United boss Louis van Gaal is a keen admirer of Cuadrado, who could play the role of right wing-back in the Dutch coach’s planned 3-4-3 formation at Old Trafford.
While both Antonio Valencia and Rafael are capable of playing in the same position, Cuadrado - who scored 15 goals for Fiorentina last season - would be a significant upgrade.
But his impressive performances at the recent World Cup finals in Brazil did not go unnoticed by Barcelona, who are looking for a long-term replacement for Dani Alves.
Cuadrado possesses searing pace, excellent technique, a good shot and bundles of energy - but Van Gaal will need to fend off competition from his former employers to land the Serie A star’s services this summer.
Watch: Juan Cuadrado scout report
United to bid over £30m?
Whether United are prepared to raise their £28 million offer is currently unclear. However, it’s no secret that the Red Devils have significant funds - despite the signings of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw - and Fiorentina will be mindful of this.
But the big-money sales of Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez - to Chelsea and Arsenal, respectively - means the transfer kitty is not totally dry just yet.