Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella has made it clear that Chelsea won’t be signing Juan Cuadrado this month unless they meet his €35 million release clause.
According to reports the Blues have already made an offers close to £20 million, and were also keen on including Mohamed Salah to sweeten the deal, but La Viola don’t appear to be interested.
As relayed by the Daily Mirror Montella has looked to clear up any confusion by stating that Cuadrado is free to leave, so long as his suitors meet the buy-out clause in his contract.
“Cuadrado’s situation is very easy. In his contract there is a release clause, and if another team pays this amount he can leave Fiorentina.
"Cuadrado’s situation is very easy. In his contract there is a release clause, and if another team pays this amount he can leave Fiorentina"
“He has never said that he wants to leave for Chelsea because he and I have not spoken about that situation.
“I think Chelsea have probably been in talks with his agent but I don’t know. His €35m release clause has to be paid if he is to leave.
“I hope Cuadrado stays at Fiorentina of course. His mind is clear he’s enjoying playing here, he’s a good guy and I think he will stay.
“He has the characteristics suited to English football because he’s fantastic in positive transitions and with Mourinho it could be perfect.”
Not only does it mean that a deal is further away than many Blues fans would have liked, but it could transpire that Jose Mourinho is left with Salah as well, with the Egyptian not looking close to an exit before Monday’s transfer deadline.
ins and outs
As part of the initial batch of speculation it was rumoured that Fiorentina weren’t willing to part with Cuadrado unless Salah joined on loan for the remainder of the season, though this now appears off the mark. Instead Mourinho has a decision to make, and if he opts not to pay £26 million he looks certain to miss out.
Of course another avenue The Special One has is Brazilian Douglas Costa, with Shakhtar Donetsk also apparently ready to consent to his departure if they receive an appropriate sum.
Though a host of Premier League clubs have been linked with the forward before it’s becoming increasingly likely that either this month or the summer could bring forth his arrival on English shores, and if he does make the switch Chelsea are in pole position to be the main beneficiaries.
Issues for Chelsea
It could all be by-the-by though if Mourinho can’t offload either Salah or Andre Schurrle. The two wingers are well down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and both looked like they could be offloaded this month, even if circumstance now suggests they’ll be part of the squad until the summer.
The cards remain very much in Mourinho’s hand, but even he might refrain from paying what he deems over the odds for two players most Blues fans would welcome with open arms.