Chelsea are ready to pay the €35 million (£26.8 million) required to activate the release clause of Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado.
This is according to the Metro, who claim Jose Mourinho is a huge fan of the Manchester United target and wants the player to boost the Blues’ Premier League title hopes from this month until the end of the season.
Sky Italia broke the news late on Monday night that Chelsea had contacted Fiorentina for Cuadrado - and it seems Mourinho and representatives from Stamford Bridge are working hard to get a deal done before the transfer window closes on February 2.
Cuadrado was strongly linked to both Chelsea and Manchester United in the summer - as well as Barcelona - following his eye-catching performances for Colombia at the World Cup finals in Brazil.
However, a transfer failed to materialise, with Fiorentina holding firm over their decision not to sell for anything lower than £32 million.
Cuadrado signed contract in October
Cuadrado subsequently told La Viola that he would only sign a contract extension if they agreed to insert a release clause into his current deal. The Italian club did just that - a buy-out clause worth €35 million was inserted - and Cuadrado agreed to extend his contract until 2019.
But four years before his current deal expires and Cuadrado could be on the brink of a move to the Premier League.
The live-wire South American has scored five goals in 21 appearances this term and has so far failed to scale the same heights as last season, when he netted 15 goals in 43 games.
Schurrle and Salah to leave?
A move to a top club may bring out the very best in Cuadrado, who would provide competition with Willian for the attacking right-wing position.
Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah, who both play in the same position, are expected to leave Stamford Bridge in order to help Chelsea raise funds to complete the Cuadrado deal.
Manchester United interest
It’s not expected that Manchester United will return for the Colombian. Louis van Gaal is currently preoccupied with signing a new centre-back, while a new right wing-back also remains a priority.
It’s possible that Van Gaal believes Cuadrado could be deployed in that role, however, so Chelsea will need to act quickly in case the Red Devils renew their interest in the 26-year-old.