Manchester United have an agreement in place with Juan Cuadrado to make the Colombian wing wizard their third major summer signing, but have not to meet Fiorentina's €40m asking price for the World Cup star.
Cuadrado is viewed by Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal as perfect for a 3-5-2 system that needs energetic wing-backs to make it successful, but Barcelona have a similar view and have also made the speed demon a priority target.
Catalan newspaper Sport believes United are in pole position though, with personal terms sorted and just the significant hurdle of striking a deal with Fiorentina now standing in the way of a blockbuster addition to Van Gaal's squad.
Still work to do
Fiorentina are still very much in the driving seat in negotiations over Cuadrado's future and have a bidding war which plays into their hands, as United and Barca continue to fight it out for a star who has a contract with La Viola that runs until 2017.
Cuadrado asked Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle to leave during crunch talks over his future last Friday, but the Tuscan giants are prepared to make him sweat over a dream move in order to secure maximum profit for their prized asset.
Brazilian duo could hold key
Barelona coach Luis Enrique has reportedly decided that Brazilian full-back Dani Alves has a future at the Camp Nou, which has put United firmly in pole position to make bring Cuadrado to the Theatre of Dreams before the transfer window slams shut.
Van Gaal is hardly short of options on the right flank, but is not thought to view a Brazilian of his own in Rafael as part of his plans for this season.
Ashley Young has looked good at right wing-back in pre-season and Antonio Valencia is a World Cup ace comfortably with adapting to that role, but Van Gaal prefers Cuadrado to both and is now desperate for United chiefs to deliver one of his top transfer targets.
United are working hard on the deal though and believe talks with Cuadrado's representatives have led to an agreement in principle over terms being struck, encouraging news for Red Devils fans desperate to see new faces arrive before the transfer window slams shut.
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