Manchester United are stepping up their efforts to complete a deal for Juan Cuadrado and are confident of beating Barcelona to his signature, reports Goal.
The report claims that Manchester United officials have been in constant contact with their Fiorentina counterparts for several weeks in an attempt to agree a deal for the Colombian winger. A deal worth up to £35 million is now close to being agreed.
A major sticking point with regards to Cuadrado moving to Old Trafford has been continued interest from Barcelona. The Catalan giants seemed ready to go head-to-head with former manager Louis van Gaal, but it appears their inability to get rid of Dani Alves has cost them the fight.
Manchester United believe they have the financial superiority over Barcelona, who have already spent over £100 million on the likes of Luis Suarez, Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu this summer. Meanwhile Van Gaal still has plenty of funds to make Cuadrado becomes a Red Devil before the transfer window closes.
Di Maria alternative
Van Gaal is desperate to land a top quality winger to supplement the attacking talents of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie and will continue to keep an eye on Real Madrid's Angel di Maria.
PSG were forced to pull out of a deal for the Argentine because of financial implications and Real Madrid remain keen to sell for the right price. However, Van Gaal sees Cuadrado as a more realistic option.
Late Chelsea interest
If Manchester United manage to seal a deal for the World Cup star, it will come as a huge relief to the club after Jose Mourinho threatened to derail the bid with late interest. A number of British newspapers claimed Chelsea were ready to rival Manchester United for Cuadrado but it appears their interest has come too late.
Already with a plethora of wide attacking players, a move to Stamford Bridge always seemed unlikely for Cuadrado. Mourinho had already claimed his transfer business was over for the summer although the Special One has never turned down the opportunity to get one over a major rival.
Other Manchester United deals
Along with Cuadrado, Manchester United executive Ed Woodward is also pushing to complete deals for Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo ahead of a crucial season at Old Trafford. Blind flourished under Van Gaal during Holland's World Cup campaign and could cost between £17 million and £20 million whilst center-back Rojo could move for £16 million.