Manchester United Transfer News: Latest on Juan Cuadrado, Daley Blind and More

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2014

VERONA, ITALY - APRIL 13:  Juan Cuadrado of ACF Fiorentina  looks on during the Serie A match between Hellas Verona FC and ACF Fiorentina at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on April 13, 2014 in Verona, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
Dino Panato/Getty Images

Manchester United are looking to add further reinforcements to their side before the start of the Premier League season, with a deal for Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado reportedly close to completion.

Anthony Chapman of the Daily Express reports that the Red Devils have already made a bid for the Colombian star but that the Serie A side are holding out for more money with Louis van Gaal eager to bring him in:

United have already submitted an offer of £32million for the 26-year-old's services, but Serie A outfit Fiorentina are adamant he won't be sold for anything less than £36million. [...]

Van Gaal is ready to meet Fiorentina's asking price, and is hopeful that the former Udinese man will be lining up for United's first game of the new campaign against Swansea on August 16.

The 26-year-old's incredible versatility makes him an ideal target for United as new boss Van Gaal looks to implement a 3-5-2 formation, as per Squawka's Tim Simon:

He can play as a right-wing-back and across the midfield and provides assists and goals alike—five and 11 respectively in last season's Serie A campaign, as per

While £36 million is a lot of money, Cuadrado is a truly top-class player and is seemingly the perfect fit for Van Gaal's desired style.

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 18:  Daley Blind of Netherlands controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Netherlands at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 18, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  (Photo by Vinicius Costa/Ge
Vinicius Costa/Getty Images

Another player who could be an ideal purchase for the Red Devils' new manager is his former Dutch national team charge Daley Blind.

The Ajax full-back was a key part of Van Gaal's Netherlands side that came third at the World Cup in Brazil and also provides versatility that will be key for United next season, as per Dutch football journalist Elko Born:

Ajax youth coach Richard Witschge believes Blind is on his way out of the Eredivisie champions, as per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail: "I think Daley Blind will be leaving soon. I have a feeling. He has been training by himself. I think he has done that because there's something going on."

If that is indeed the case, United would do well to snap him up quickly as he could be a fine addition to the Red Devils side.

Another defensive issue for United is at centre-back, where they need to add strength after the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Mats Hummels of Germany celebrates with the World Cup trophy after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

They look to have missed out on long-term target Thomas Vermaelen, according to BBC Sport's David Ornstein, and also have reportedly failed in a bid to bring Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund to Old Trafford.

According to Jack Wilson of the Daily Star, the German World Cup winner is to stay in the Bundesliga after the two sides failed to agree a fee.

Meanwhile, another potential option in the centre of defence is Roma's Mehdi Benatia, but according to Gianluca Di Marzio, a firm offer has not been forthcoming from United.

However, Di Marzio's report also suggests Roma would be prepared to negotiate a transfer if an offer did come in for €35 million (£28 million) for the Morocco international. 

The 27-year-old is a combative centre-back who is comfortable playing the ball out from the back and would add authority to a currently inexperienced unit in the middle of defence.

Van Gaal would be well advised to go after Benatia as a primary target, as United's weakness at centre-back looks to currently be their biggest problem.

Cuadrado would be a marquee signing, and his creativity and incisive running could add a lot to the Red Devils on the flank.

What is in no doubt is that the Old Trafford outfit need at least two more signings to be considered as genuine title contenders in the new Premier League season.