El Mundo Deportivo (h/t Metro) are reporting that the Colombian winger is of interest to Blues boss Jose Mourinho as the Stamford Bridge outfit look to hijack a long-term move for the player by Manchester United:
[Fiorentina have] told the player he can leave for £36 million, and while United and Barca have both made bids and are in talks over a deal, El Mundo Deportivo says Chelsea are now firmly in the race. The newspaper says the decision to allow Marko Marin to join Fiorentina has sweetened the deal – and the Blues now hope that they will be the preferred bidders.
German midfielder Marin has joined the Serie A side on a season-long loan, per 101 Great Goals, fuelling speculation concerning Cuadrado going the other way:
However, Cuadrado and Chelsea need only look at Marin's situation to see why it is unnecessary for the Colombian to join the Blues.
The 25-year-old Marin joined Chelsea two years ago but has failed to nail down a first-team spot due to the plethora of other options in his position.
Similarly, Cuadrado—whose preferred position is on the right flank—would face serious competition for a first-team spot from the likes of Willian, Mohamed Salah and Andre Schurrle.
While Cuadrado is hugely versatile and scored 11 goals and assisted five in Serie A last season, per WhoScored, his purchase would cause problems rather than solving any which, frankly, don't exist.
In trying to accommodate so many players in similar positions, Mourinho could alienate or aggravate one or many of his star players.
Furthermore, one of the reasons why United are reportedly interested in the 26-year-old Cuadrado is his ability to play at wing-back, 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
However, Mourinho does not implement such a formation which requires wing-backs, and even at right-back he has terrific depth in Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Thus, any areas in which Cuadrado might be utilised by Mourinho are already packed to the rafters with talent, and the Colombian is not a necessary addition for Chelsea's success—conversely, his arrival may have a negative effect.
Equally, the £36 million Chelsea would reportedly have to spend on Cuadrado could be spent much better in other areas, specifically to add cover in the strike department.
Despite the additions of Diego Costa and Didier Drogba over the summer, an injury to either would leave the perennially under-performing Fernando Torres with great responsibility.
Drogba is 36 and Costa is injury-prone—as seen at the end of last season—and a new striker would be a much better use of Chelsea's money than splashing out on Cuadrado, per The Daily Telegraph's Paul Hayward:
Reckon Chelsea will win the league but still need another striker. Costa twangs a hamstring? Drogba for cameos. Miss days when clubs had 4.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) August 12, 2014
Chelsea have done stellar business so far this summer and look set to compete on all fronts next season, as they have strength and depth in almost every area of the pitch.
However, Cuadrado's signing would be unnecessary, would not address the one area where they are currently demonstrably weak and would constitute a poor piece of business at the end of a successful window.