Manchester United and Chelsea target Juan Cuadrado is finally on the verge of signing a new contract with Fiorentina, as the Serie A club look to secure the futures of a number of their best players.
The speculation concerning the Colombia winger’s allegiances has been long-winded and ever-changing, but it would appear, at least according to Italian publication Tuttosport, that the saga is set to end.
It’s claimed that Cuadrado will pledge his future to The Viola in the wake of fresh interest from Chelsea, putting an end once and for all to the plans made by Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.
Cuadrado at Fiorentina
The 26-year-old has been reluctant to pen an extension to his deal in Florence up until now, with reports stating that he was at odds with what his club were willing to pay him. Previous rumours have suggested that Cuadrado wanted £3.5million-a-year to reject the interest from suitors abroad, whereas his club were only willing to offer £2.5million.
However now a compromise may well have been reached, with Tuttosport confident that Cuadrado will join the likes of Neto and Alberto Aquilani in signing a new contract - the three are all set to receive offers.
The wide-man, who performed impressively at the World Cup, and continues to do so at club level, might not be available come the winter transfer window, throwing a spanner in the works for two of the Premier League’s biggest sides.
It’s fair to say it’s United who have given the most admirable pursuit of Cuadrado, with Van Gaal keen to recruit a right wingback who is not only experienced, but reliable going forward and effective defensively.
Rumours that he remains unconvinced by either Rafael da Silva or Antonio Valencia have yet to be confirmed either way, but the general consensus is that he wants equal strength in depth on the right, as he has on the left with the likes of Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw.
The Red Devils certainly have the £32million needed to acquire Cuadrado at the moment, though if he does sign a new deal then that figure could significantly increase.
If he is still potentially on the market come January of course United won’t just be fighting with Fiorentina for his signature, as Chelsea also have him on the radar.
Mourinho’s need isn’t as pressing as his Old Trafford counterpart’s but the injection of pace that Cuadrado could offer, and the subsequent boost to momentum, could be enough to ensure the Blues don’t falter after Christmas.