Manchester United did not launch an official bid for Fiorentina star Juan Cuadrado this summer, La Viola executive president Mario Cognigni has confirmed.
Louis van Gaal was heavily linked with a move for Cuadrado after the flying winger thoroughly impressed for Colombia at the World Cup. Cuadrado was inspirational alongside James Rodriguez in Brazil and Van Gaal wanted to make him one of his first signings.
No official bid
However, despite being linked with both Manchester United and Barcelona, the executive has admitted that no official offer arrived Cuadrado to the delight on the club. He also claimed that had a bid come in, Fiorentina would have fought hard to keep him.
“The club always had a firm intention of keeping him,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“We believe that he is a champion who will aid the Viola to achieve certain targets.
“Fiorentina never wanted to sell him and, anyway, an official offer for the player was never made to us from any club.”
United's phantom €50m offer
The news will come as a surprise to Manchester United fans, who were drowned in reports that Van Gaal had made a move Cuadrado. German newspaper Bild claimed a bid in the region of €50 million had arrived from Old Trafford, but it appears those claims turned out to be fictitious.
Instead Manchester United ploughed funds into bringing Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao to the club. Few fans will be complaining about that.
Cuadrado transfer request
Staying a Fiorentina appeared far from likely for Cuadrado earlier this summer, after Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle confirmed the 25-year-old had asked to leave.
Della Valle explained: "I met with Juan today and he asked if he could leave this summer.
"I said to him, stay for one more year, we have a serious project here, but I'm not optimistic."
Wing back role
One reason Cuadrado may have been convinced to stay is the fact that both interested parties–Manchester United and Barcelona–wanted to play Cuadrado in a defensive wing-back role.
Van Gaal has implemented a controversial 3-5-2 formation at Manchester United and Cuadrado was seen as a perfect player to slot in on the right side. However, as a prominently attacking player, Cuadrado would have no doubt been put off by the prospect of defending first and attacking second.