Arsenal have arranged to meet the agent of £32 million-rated Juan Guillermo Cuadrado in London this week, reports the Daily Express.
Citing reports from Spain, the newspaper claims Cuadrado's agent Alessandro Lucci will arrive in London presently to meet with Arsenal officials regarding a potential transfer move.
The news comes amid an explosion of interest in the 26-year-old, who has impressed for Colombia in their opening two World Cup games in Group C. Plenty of clubs across Europe are believed to be interested in the winger.
Fiorentina have only just acquired 100 per cent of the rights to Cuadrado, paying Udinese around £10 million. However, the Viola are ready to cash in on the Colombian World Cup star and are looking for a bid in the region of £32 million.
The asking price has been justified by Cuadrado's performances both in Serie A last season and the World Cup. Cuadrado was one of the top performers in Italy last season, scoring 11 goals, assisting five and being accredited with eight man of the match awards.
Not only has Cuadrado been praised for his finishing, the player is also a fantastically tricky dribbler. With strength on the ball, coupled with electric pace, it is no wonder Cuadrado is attracting the interest of Arsene Wenger.
MANCHESTER UNITED & LIVERPOOL
Both Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked with a move for the player but it appears the Gunners have emerged as frontrunners for his signature. That comes in spite of the fact that Louis van Gaal has as much as £200 million to spend in the transfer market.
Van Gaal is still busy with World Cup commitments but has told officials at Old Trafford to carry on pursuing his preferred targets, of which Cuadrado is believed to be one.
Like Manchester United, Brendan Rodgers knows Liverpool need serious investment if they are to challenge on all fronts next season. Significant depth is required as Liverpool prepare for the Champions League and the manager was hoping to bring the player to Anfield.
WILL HE FIT IN AT ARSENAL?
The Gunners have a wealth of quality on the flanks at the moment, boasting the likes of Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Wenger also has Serge Gnabry coming through the youth system.
However, Oxlade-Chamberlain is destined to move more centrally in the coming seasons while Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are both desperately trying to earn the right to play more centrally.
Cuadrado offers versatility as he is adept at playing across the attacking midfield line. While Podolski hugs the left, and Walcott the right, Cuadrado happily plays either side of the pitch.
His pace would help to bring the best out of Mesut Ozil, who plays his best football with rapid forwards ready to run on to his through balls.
IS HE WORTH £32 MILLION?
Cuadrado has no experience in the Premier League but certainly has the attributes to succeed in the English game. Speed and strength are crucial to playing up front in the Premier League and Cuadrado has both in abundance.
Like any player without Premier League experience, Cuadrado would be a risk and it is likely Wenger will try to drive down the price before any deal is agreed. Whether Van Gaal or Rodgers are prepared to outbid Arsenal is remains to be seen, but it wouldn't be the first time Wenger let a main rival get their hands on a target for a few extra million.
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