Chelsea have agreed a £23 million deal for Fiorentina star Juan Cuadrado, on the proviso that struggling forward Mohamed Salah trades Stamford Bridge for Italy until the end of the season.
As claimed by the Daily Express the Blues have finally agreed a deal that will see them capture the Colombia international, who is also wanted by Manchester United, with the agreement now just hinging on Salah accepting his part of the bargain.
If he rejects the move, which he is perfectly entitled to do, then Fiorentina have supposedly warned Mourinho that they will do all they can to ensure Cuadrado stays away from Stamford Bridge this month, despite the fact that the player is understood to be pressing for a switch himself.
Only this morning it was claimed that the 26-year-old has all but informed La Viola of his intentions to move to Chelsea this month, and the fact that his club have struck an initial accord with Mourinho indicates that they don’t want to stand in his way. Yet Salah could still disrupt the deal if he decides Serie A football isn’t for him, and so the deal stands on a knife’s edge.
The Egyptian winger, who himself only moved to west London last January, hasn’t been able to make an impact under Mourinho, and the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Andre Schurrle are all ahead of him in the pecking order.
A move away, be in temporary or permanent, looks the only method of getting his career back on track, though he might prefer to stay in England given that he’s now settled there.
Elsewhere it will be interesting to see how Fiorentina’s fans and staff react to the deal if it goes through. Chief amongst those trying to ensure Cuadrado didn’t leave this month was manager Vincenzo Montella, who is believed to have delivered an ultimatum to his club that he would quit if the winger was sold this month.
He may not take such a drastic approach if he gets Salah as a direct replacement, but even so he’s unlikely to be happy if the board have gone over his head to accept Chelsea’s offer.