Juan Cuadrado looks increasingly likely to leave Fiorentina with Manchester United widely rumoured to be leading the chase for his signature.
Following the Serie A side's 2-0 friendly victory over Malaga on Sunday, coach Vincenzo Montella hinted the versatile Colombian may be on his way out, but only for the right price, per 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."
Metro's Chris Winterburn reports United and Barcelona are the two teams eager to sign Cuadrado with the player available for purchase:
Montella's comments pretty much reaffirm Cuadrado will leave. Only 2 clubs clearly interested at the moment are Barcelona and United.— Chris Winterburn (@Chriswin4) August 10, 2014
Fiorentina club president Andrea Della Valle recently said the player would be allowed to leave but added that, if clubs wished to claim Cuadrado's services, they must get their bids in before his deadline of mid-August, per FourFourTwo:
Should it happen that an important offer arrives, we would have to allow Cuadrado to leave. [...]
He is honest and serious with us, and I told him if an offer should arrive we would free him. But the deadline is about a week to ten days away - around August 15 and if there is no adequate period in this period, he will remain.
The 26-year-old's value is reportedly estimated at £36 million, thus United will have to splash the cash to sign him up and face competition from La Liga giants Barca, per Anthony Chapman in the Express:
However, he certainly looks to be an ideal fit for the side new boss Louis van Gaal is trying to build at Old Trafford, his versatility being particularly significant.
While Cuadrado can be an attacking threat from the midfield—he bagged 11 Serie A goals last season—he can also excel at right wing-back and is thus suitable for Van Gaal's prospective 3-5-2 formation, per Squawka's Tim Simon:
Lots of talk about Cuadrado to #MUFC. Great work rate, quick and good end product. Perfect for the wing back role.— Tim Simon (@TimSimon90) August 5, 2014
While United have purchased Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera so far in the summer transfer window, they need further reinforcements if they are to return to the top of English football after a disastrous seventh-place finish in the Premier League last season.
Should United pursue the signing of Cuadrado?
Cuadrado would certainly add quality and balance to the Red Devils side as well as a significant threat on the flanks, which has been absent of late.
However, they seemingly need to act fast to get a bid in for the player with Della Valle's deadline looming.
Furthermore, with United's opening Premier League encounter coming up on Saturday against Swansea, Van Gaal would be well advised to confirm Cuadrado's signing before the season starts.