Manchester United and Barcelona will need to up their bids for Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado to a massive €50 million in order to secure the Colombia international’s services this summer. The Red Devils value the 26-year-old at €38 million (around £30 million) but the player’s current employers will not allow him to leave the Stadio Artemio Franchi on the cheap.
This information comes courtesy of Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, who quote Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade as insisting La Viola have yet to receive an official bid for the winger who shone at the recent World Cup finals in Brazil.
However, Prade told Sky Sport 24: “It would be very difficult to refuse an offer of €50 million”.
He went on to say that he hopes Cuadrado stays with Fiorentina — but that the club would, ultimately, be powerless in their efforts to make him stay put if a significant bid is submitted.
Cuadrado: Fiorentina’s star man
Despite playing out on the wing, no Fiorentina player scored more Serie A goals last season than Cuadrado, with the exception of striker Giuseppe Rossi.
The South American netted 11 goals in Italy’s top domestic league, plus four more in the Coppa Italia and Europa League competitions.
His impressive performances in Brazil have further enhanced his burgeoning reputation. Cuadrado was a candidate for stand-out right-sided winger in the showpiece international tournament thanks to his direct attacking style, plus his willingness to help out in a defensive capacity.
Watch: Juan Cuadrado scout report
Cuadrado: Perfect for Van Gaal’s system
And it was his superb work rate which must have caught the eye of Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, who plans to use either a 3-4-1-2 or 4-3-3 formation - depending on the opposition - next season.
In the first system, Cuadrado appears to possess all of the required attributes to play as a right-sided wing-back, where Rafael has been deployed in pre-season.
And in the second, Cuadrado could play as the most advanced right-sided player in the team - the position he has blossomed in at Fiorentina since making the move from Udinese in 2012.
Is €50m too much?
At €50 million (almost £40 million) Cuadrado would become the most expensive player in Manchester United’s history ahead of Juan Mata, who arrived from Chelsea in January for £37.1 million.
But it’s no secret that Van Gaal has big money to spend this summer, despite shelling out almost £60 million for Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw.
United supporters feel the team is still crying out for a new central midfielder and centre-back, but deals for Juventus star Arturo Vidal and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels are looking less likely by the day.
Cuadrado would certainly be a useful purchase for the Red Devils, but Van Gaal’s side would still need further reinforcements in key areas to close the gap on reigning champions Manchester City and Chelsea.