Manchester United are said to have made a whopping €40 million bid for Fiorentina and Colombia star Juan Cuadrado, according to the Italian press.
The 26-year-old winger is currently starring at the World Cup with Jose Pekerman's thrilling Los Cafeteros side, where he has scored a single goal and provided four assists in a quartet of games, per WhoScored.com. It seems United are one of many clubs interested but have confirmed their intentions with a concrete bid, per Gazzetta dello Sport and via Tancredi Palmeri of beIN sport:
Manchester United have placed a bid to Fiorentina for Colombia's unstoppable winger Cuadrado, according to Gazzetta. Approx 40m€— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) July 2, 2014
101 Great Goals, which also testifies to Gazzetta's report of a United bid, suggests Barcelona and Bayern Munich are also interested in the energetic player, sourced from the aforementioned Italian newspaper.
Cuadrado would represent a major coup for United, who are set to continue rebuilding their squad under the tutelage of Louis van Gaal.
Cuadrado's pace, dribbling skill and versatility make him an excellent prospect for the Premier League side. He is able to play as a right-sided forward, through the centre or even as an attacking full-back if needed, naturally offering a swashbuckling and boundless output when he steps onto the pitch.
His creativity has impressed at the World Cup, where he has emerged as one of Colombia's most important players alongside James Rodriguez.
United may be set to raid Serie A with great intensity after the club was linked with a move for Juventus' Arturo Vidal, per Rob Bleaney of The Guardian. As noted by Christopher Atkins of ESPN FC, such arrivals would transform a midfield that laboured into mediocrity during the 2013-14 campaign:
Cuadrado and Vidal both being linked with #MUFC now. Fair to say they would not be as lethargic in midfield if either arrived.— Christopher Atkins (@ChrisAtkins_) July 2, 2014
Van Gaal has already overseen the signings of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, both of whom arrive before the manager officially takes control of daily proceedings at Old Trafford. Both have the ability to up United's tempo when in possession, something Cuadrado would significantly aid with his relentlessly direct approach.
Is Juan Cuadrado worth €40 million?
Confident in possession and a workhorse without it, Cuadrado's exit would provide Fiorentina with a major void to fill. Luckily for the Viola, and perhaps United's hopes of capturing the talent, Corriere dello Sport indicates the Italian club already has Giovani Dos Santos, Javier Aquino, Mathieu Valbuena and Bryan Ruiz lined up as possible replacements, via 101 Great Goals.
United need additional quality from the wings, as Antonio Valencia, Nani, Ashley Young and converted wide-man Danny Welbeck continue to stutter for form. Cuadrado plays with a fearlessness none of these individuals exude and is more than equipped to excel in the physical realm of the Premier League.
The club has plenty of money to spend and needs to land world-class names in order to improve on last year's dismal seventh-place finish. Cuadrado's arrival could provide the spark United need to rediscover their patented attacking play and may help lure further top-quality investments to the Theatre of Dreams.