Chelsea have agreed a fee for Fiorentina star Juan Cuadrado and will hand the player his medical imminently as they look to push through a move as soon as possible, according to the Daily Star.
Reports today suggest that Andre Schurrle’s move to VfL Wolfsburg has all but been confirmed, meaning that Jose Mourinho is keen to now find his replacement before Monday’s deadline.
Despite speculation that Shakhtar Donetsk forward Douglas Costa was to be that man it appears that the interest in Cuadrado has won the day, with the Colombia international even said to have terminated the contract on his house in Florence as he awaits his Premier League move.
The 26-year-old’s future has been the subject of mass gossip this month, with Fiorentina holding out for the maximum sum of £26 million - his release clause - and the Blues having attempted to whittle that figure down. The inclusion of peripheral Stamford Bridge figure Mohamed Salah was also talked about as part of a potential deal, but that doesn’t look likely now.
Instead Chelsea will pay the full sum of £26 million for Mourinho’s priority target, who will in turn arrive in west London for a medical before the weekend is out. It’s extremely optimistic to suggest that he’ll be signed and ready in time for the title-defining clash against Manchester City tomorrow evening, but the sooner he arrives the sooner Mourinho can begin to integrate him with his squad.
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Just what role Cuadrado will hope to have remains to be seen, with the attacking trio of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian having performed well in their duties behind Diego Costa this season.
Out of the three it’s probably Willian who will fear for his position most, though the Brazilian has already ousted Schurrle from the spot and so it isn’t a given that he will drop to the bench.
Meanwhile Schurrle himself is set to join Wolfsburg to the tune of more than £20 million - a club record for the Bundesliga outfit. The previous highest sum they had paid was for ex-Blues star Kevin de Bruyne, but their position just behind Bayern Munich in Germany’s elite division has convinced club chiefs that success can be achieved if they’re willing to back the manager’s plans.