Updates from Friday, Sept. 5
Neither Manchester United nor Barcelona made an official offer for Fiorentina star Juan Cuadrado throughout the summer, according to executive president Mario Cognini.
Cuadrado was heavily linked to both clubs, but Cognini told Sky Sport, per David Amoyal of gianlucadimarzio.com:
The club always wanted to keep a champion like him on the team. We consider him a champion that can contribute a lot to reaching Fiorentina’s objectives. The club always had the intent of keeping him in Florence and no official offer arrived for him.
Updates from Friday, Aug. 29
Fiorentina owner Andrea Della Valle has announced that Juan Cuadrado will be staying with the Serie A club this summer.
Despite constant links to Barcelona and Manchester United, Della Valle was quoted saying by talkSPORT and BT Sport's James Horncastle:
ADV: I can say with certainty Cuadrado is staying. It's a big present for the city. I hope it's the strongest Viola of the Della Valle era— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) August 29, 2014
Updates from Monday, Aug. 18
Juan Cuadrado may well be set to start the Serie A season with Fiorentina after boss Vincenzo Montella spoke positively about his future.
Reported by La Nazione, via ITV.com, Montella said:
I have never thought of losing Juan. He's been here in the past, he is here now and he will be here in the future.
I don't think about how his (Cuadrado's) story might finish. A player like him can play in every position in midfield.
Cuadrado was left out of Fiorentina's squad for the recent friendly with Real Madrid for "technical reasons," amid links to Manchester United and Barcelona, but his name returned for Monday's friendly with Arezzo. Enrico Passarella of gianlucadimarzio.com provides the latest squad list:
Tatarusanu, Piccini, Pasqual, Brillante, Roncaglia, Hegazi, Cuadrado, Lazzari, Ilicic, Wolski, Bernardeschi, Lezzerini, Mancini, Gigli, Capezzi, Joaquin, Iakovenko, Octavio, Belek, Bangu, Petriccione
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, meanwhile, refused to rule out a move by his club for Cuadrado, who is believed to favour the Catalans over a switch to United. Nick Lustig of the Daily Star quotes Enrique saying:
I won't talk about Cuadrado because he is not my player.
Having said that, our market isn't closed yet. At times it can happen that we like players, we negotiate for them and the other clubs aren't always prepared to sell them.
Updates from Friday, Aug. 15
Juan Cuadrado has been left out of Fiorentina's squad for Saturday's friendly clash with Real Madrid, sparking fresh rumours that he's on his way out of the Serie A club.
Fiorentina's official website confirmed the squad list for the glamour tie, although Football Italia reports that fans of Manchester United and Barcelona—the two clubs heavily linked to Cuadrado—should not get overly excited.
Both Cuadrado and Facundo Roncaglia are missing from the group, but it is claimed that Fiorentina are merely planning for their opening game of the campaign:
A number of sources in Italy are reporting that both players are only out of Vincenzo Montella’s squad for technical reasons.
Both players are suspended for Week 1 of the 2014-15 Serie A season and Montella apparently intends to try out players against Madrid that will form the nucleus of the side that will line up in that opening League fixture against Roma.
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 14
Manchester United have a free run at Juan Cuadrado, according to a Thursday report from Sport.
101 Great Goals summarises the latest as Barcelona reportedly turn their attentions away from the Fiorentina star:
Today, Sport reveal that Barcelona are no longer interested in Cuadrado and have shifted their attention to Sao Paulo full back Douglas.
Talks are advanced between Barcelona and Sao Paulo with the suggestion that the Catalans will pay a seven million euro fee.
Barcelona gave up on Cuadrado due to the high fee demanded by Fiorentina, leaving Manchester United as the only side supposedly in for the Colombian World Cup star.
And, if Barcelona do not seal a deal for Douglas they will move for Leo from Flamengo.
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 13
Juan Cuadrado wants to move to Barcelona, and the Catalan club are preparing an offer for the Fiorentina man according to M. Carmen Torres of Marca.
Manchester United have currently registered the best bid for Cuadrado, but the deal is not progressing due to the player's love of Barca, according to Torres:
Barcelona are set to come back with one last bid for Juan Guillermo Cuadrado. Luis Enrique is adamant that the club needs to bring in someone to bomb up and down the right flank and the Colombian is his top target.
[...] The 26-year-old has his heart set on a move to the Camp Nou and has told the Fiore higher-ups and some of his teammates as much. The snag is that Manchester United have outbid Barça so far and the onus is on the 'Azulgranas' to match the Red Devils' €40m offer.
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 12
The mystery of Juan Cuadrado's future continues to swing toward Manchester United after two major publications in Spain reported on Tuesday that a bid has been lodged for the Fiorentina star.
The Serie A side are waiting until they receive a formal offer from Barcelona before they return to Manchester United with an answer.
Barcelona will approach Fiorentina for Cuadrado but their move remains somewhat stalled as they have no takers so far for Brazilian right back Dani Alves.
El Mundo Deportivo, meanwhile, reports that the Serie A club are holding out for an improved offer of ¢50 million for Cuadrado, again per 101 Great Goals.
Updates from Monday, Aug. 11
Juan Cuadrado's Fiorentina exit appears to be edging closer, although manager Vincenzo Montella has told suitors to pay the player's asking price.
Speaking after their 2-0 preseason win over Malaga, Montella said of Cuadrado, via Enrico Passarella of gianlucadimarzio.com:
This was discussed a lot, what the president said was enough. The player must be purchased for an adequate price: at the moment it’s not my problem.
Montella was referring to the recent quotes of president Andrea Della Valle, provided here by FourFourTwo, who confessed Cuadrado would be sold if Manchester United or Barcelona—the two clubs linked to his services—paid the required fee:
Should it happen that an important offer arrives, we would have to allow Cuadrado to leave.
So with that I am not so optimistic about a positive final situation as I think an offer will arrive in the next few days, but he will only leave for certain amounts.
But you need to understand if an important offer does arrive, it is like a loose train and I can't hang on. [...] He is honest and serious with us, and I told him if an offer should arrive we would free him.
However, Jamie Jackson of the Guardian reports something of the opposite, claiming:
As of this morning the understanding is that #mufc have no interest in Juan Cuadrado...— jamie jackson (@JamieJackson___) August 11, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 6
Louis van Gaal has hinted at a potential move for Fiorentina star Juan Cuadrado, by confessing he is concerned the price will be driven up if Manchester United declare their interest.
The Daily Star's Gary Jones reports:
The fallen Premier League giants are understood to have offered a deal worth around £29m for the Colombia international, with Fiorentina now willing to negotiate a deal after becoming resigned to losing the forward.
Speaking after United's 3-1 Champions Cup victory over Liverpool, Van Gaal admitted he wanted to avoid questions about Cuadrado as it could increase the price needed to secure his services from the Viola.
Talking to journalists he said: "I cannot talk about Cuadrado, because if I say something about him the price will rise."
Juan Cuadrado's transfer away from Fiorentina may be dead in the water despite reported interest in the player.
The Colombian winger, a star during Los Cafeteros' impressive World Cup run, isn't attracting Barcelona enough for the Catalan giants to consider dropping €50 million on his services, as reported by Marca:
It won't be easy for Barcelona to sign Juan Guillermo Cuadrado despite him being on Luis Enrique's most wanted list. Fiorentina aren't giving an inch and are asking for 50 million euros for the Colombian, an exorbitant figure that Barca won't be in a hurry to pay.
Nevertheless, the international isn't being ruled out and the club will keep trying till the very last. It mustn't be forgotten that Barca have the distinct advantage of having reached an agreement with the player.
Which club needs Juan Cuadrado most?
Ben Jefferson of the Express believes Manchester United "are looking to trump Barcelona" while also suggesting Bayern Munich are considering a move. In contrast to Marca's report, Jefferson indicates all three clubs are willing to pay the player's fee, but Cuadrado's personal terms will decide his destination.
With United likely to offer the best set of wages, Jefferson also notes Cuadrado "prefers a move to Spain and has doubts about how his style will translate to the Premier League."
Of course, this problem of choice won't arise until concrete bids are made for the player. Fiorentina appear willing to sell to whoever offers the greatest fee and would be foolish not to cash in on the versatile star.
Cuadrado's main appeal stems from his ability to play on either flank, at right-back or through the centre, making him an extremely attractive prospect to clubs who wish to fill multiple voids.
Both Barca and United need defensive improvements. Cuadrado could easily slot into Luis Enrique's expected back four at the Camp Nou, challenging Dani Alves for a starting role on the right. He may even be used further forward to compensate for the loss of Alexis Sanchez, but Barca's wide roles are well-stacked with talent already.
Louis van Gaal would almost certainly use Cuadrado in the right wing-back position at United. The newly hired Dutchman's 3-5-2 formation has taken shape during the club's preseason tour of the USA, with Antonio Valencia filling the role well.
Cuadrado's pace and willingness to track back would be a major plus for the Red Devils, who could also use the 26-year-old on the wing. As noted by Elko Born of ESPN FC, this positioning could represent a mark of criticism against United's current wingers:
LVG has basically said he'd need to buy some wingers to play 4-3-3. That's a pretty damning condemnation of Young, Nani and Valencia.— Elko Born (@Elko_B) July 29, 2014
Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade previously indicated Cuadrado is due to start training imminently but that the club are continuing to monitor his situation, as reported by Sky Sports 24 (h/t Stefan Coerts of Goal.com):
"We hope that Cuadrado will continue to play for Fiorentina," said Prade. "There has not been an official offer for him. We are in constant contact with the player and his agent. He will return to the club on August 4 or 5. We will then talk with him."
Right now, it seems the lack of movement is, quite frankly, down to no official bids being lodged. The Viola may be forced to lower their price tag if interest continues without anyone meeting Cuadrado's €50 million quotation. Such a sum represents absolute top dollar for the player and would take advantage of his performances at the World Cup.
Cuadrado certainly has room to develop and may be hoping to move away from Serie A to do so. He has plenty to offer a Champions League standard side but would find it difficult to break into the Bayern team.
Both Barca and United represent smart destinations for an individual whose big-money move may be now or never.