It's not too often that a club of Barcelona's stature will come across a transfer prospect worth enduring a substantial wait for, but in Juan Cuadrado, the Spaniards have found a target who justifies such patience.
The Catalan titans will be more accustomed to getting their way more easily in the transfer market, but Fiorentina co-owner Andrea Della Valle recently told Italy's Radio Blu (h/t Goal.com's Miles Chambers) that they have a fight on their hands:
When Cuadrado returns we want to see if he shows us the desire to stay at Fiorentina. If he really does want to remain then we will talk to him and be honest about resolving the situation.
It’s complicated, but not impossible. I’ll do everything I can to keep him, even if requires making sacrifices elsewhere, but if Cuadrado is no longer motivated to stay here then we can only accept that and move on. However, at the moment I don’t get that vibe from him.
The winger was always expected to court interest this summer, following on from a fine Serie A season, but his attacking exploits at the 2014 World Cup have only further enhanced his reputation, bringing it to a more global audience.
Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports cites Catalan newspaper SPORT in confirming that Bayern Munich also hold serious interest in the South American, but he adds that Barca are merely biding their time:
In line with Serie A's ruling to make all co-owned players accounted for by just a sole party, La Viola purchased the remaining share of Cuadrado's rights from Udinese earlier this summer, his total fee equating to €21 million.
As such, it's understandable that the Italian giants will now look to make a significant profit on that amount should they be tempted into selling, which Serie A expert James Horncastle says is now double what the club have paid:
Should that figure indeed be correct, Cuadrado's signature is still worth Barca's pursuit, a fast and furious wide presence that would fit in with the club's profile.
With Alexis Sanchez now at Arsenal, there's room for new arrivals on the flank, and Cuadrado showed in Brazil just how capable he is of playing the role of puppeteer, per Squawka, which new signing Luis Suarez would undoubtedly benefit from:
Della Valle is candid in admitting the final word will ultimately rest with the player, and should Cuadrado's eyes be opened to the possibilities that await him at the Camp Nou, his allegiances may yet be turned.
It's a storyline that's unfolded many times in the past, and at 26 years of age, it's an investment in time, as well as money, that Barca would not regret.