Juan Cuadrado keen to join Chelsea this month

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Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado wants to become a Chelsea player before the winter transfer window shuts next Monday.

This is according to Sky Sports, who have been informed by sources that the 26-year-old is hoping the two clubs can reach an agreement over a transfer fee.

Fiorentina are reluctant to part company with their prized asset, who starred at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, and will only sell if their hand is forced.

Release Clause: £26.8m

Cuadrado signed a new five-year contract with La Viola in October, but the Colombia international only agreed to put pen-to-paper on the new deal once a £26.8 million release clause had been inserted.

Whether Chelsea are prepared to pay the aforementioned fee in full could ultimately depend on whether they successfully manage to offload either - or both - Andre Schurrle or Mohamed Salah.

Both players have been deemed surplus to requirements by Blues' boss Jose Mourinho - and top European clubs are keen to secure their respective services before February 2.

Cuadrado's potential arrival is expected to enhance Chelsea's chances of winning their first Premier League title since 2010.

The west London outfit currently sit five points clear of second-placed Manchester City at the top of the table, but suffered a humiliating 4-2 defeat to League One side Bradford City in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

For Salah, who played 70 minutes, that may have been his final appearance for Chelsea - 12 months after he arrived at Stamford Bridge in an £11 million deal from FC Basel.

Cuadrado would be a significant upgrade on the Egypt international judging by his form over the past 18 months.

The former Udinese and Leece stars scored 15 goals in 43 appearances last season, and has netted six goals in 23 games so far this term.

Interest from elsewhere

Cuadrado has also been linked with a move to Manchester United over the past six months, as well as Barcelona, who viewed the Colombian as a potential long-term replacement for Dani Alves.

The Catalan giants, however, are prohibited from purchasing any new players until January 2016 after being hit with a FIFA ban.

And with Manchester United concentrating on strengthening other areas of their team, the route appears clear for Chelsea to sign Cuadrado.

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