Chelsea agree to pay Juan Cuadrado’s release clause

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Chelsea are poised to complete the signing of Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado before the winter transfer window closes on Monday night after agreeing to pay his £26.8 million release clause.

This is according to the website of reliable Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio - and brought to our attention by the Metro.

With Chelsea having already agreed personal terms with the Colombia international - according to reports - Cuadrado will become Jose Mourinho’s first January signing provided he passes a routine medical.

Manchester United interest

News that Chelsea have finally agreed to pay Cuadrado’s release class, following a week of negotiations between the two clubs, comes less than 24 hours after reports in Italy claimed Manchester United were planning a dramatic late swoop for the South American.

It was understood that the Red Devils planned to leapfrog Chelsea in the race to sign Cuadrado by offering Fiorentina the services of Adnan Januzaj on an 18-month loan deal in return.

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Schurrle or Salah to depart?

But Chelsea, keen to ensure Cuadrado ends up at Stamford Bridge rather than Old Trafford, have acted swiftly to ensure the 26-year-old becomes Chelsea’s latest star signing.

The arrival of Cuadrado could spell the end for either Germany international Andre Schurrle or Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah.

Both players will find themselves lower down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge once Cuadrado’s signing has been confirmed - and the chances of at least one of them leaving the west London outfit before Monday evening’s transfer deadline have subsequently increased.

Chelsea gunning for major honours

Cuadrado’s arrival is expected to bolster Chelsea’s hopes of ending the 2014-15 campaign with at least one major trophy.

The Blues are currently firm favourites to win their first Premier League title since 2010, sitting five points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

Mourinho’s side are also safely through to the Champions League knockout stages, where they will face Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, and the Capital One Cup final following their midweek victory over Liverpool.

Chelsea will face Tottenham in that final on March 1 - the date Cuadrado could win his first piece of silverware as a Blues’ player.

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