After the awe-inspiring performance that his partnership with James Rodriguez yielded at the recently concluded World Cup in Brazil, Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado has been a major target for several Premier League sides and also Catalan giants Barcelona. In England, he has been continually linked with a possible switch to either of Chelsea or Manchester United, while Barcelona were planning to replace the ageing Dani Alves with the dynamic Colombian.
Amidst all the transfer rumours, the winger insisted that he will continue to ply his trade at the Florence based club and instead of handing in a transfer request, he chose to demand pay parity with Mario Gomez and according to talksport who are quoting La Gazzetta dello Sport, and the contract will now include a buy-out clause of about £35m.
With this new deal in place, José Mourinho will have been dealt a huge blow as the Portuguese has never hidden his admiration for Cuadrado who switched to Fiorentina in 2012 from Udinese. The Chelsea boss made several efforts to prise the 26-year-old away this recent summer but all the efforts never came to fruition. In another vein, the Stamford Bridge outfit have other reliable options in Juan’s position with either of Branislav Ivanovic and César Azpilicueta both of whom have been in good playing form for the club. More so, unlike Manchester United, The Blues do not seem to have serious defensive issues as they are yet to lose a game in the Premier League this season. So his loss might not affect them as badly as their Manchester rivals.
Similarly, Louis van Gaal who was also monitoring the winger with the hope that the purchase of such a player who could fit into about three positions on the field would further bolster his squad. Had he signed the Colombian, he could have had the luxury of adopting his favourite 3-4-2 formation where he could just deploy a 3-man defensive unit comprising Juan Caudrado, Jonny Evans and then Marcos Rojo. In fact, even if the manager decides to use the more conventional 4-4-2 formation, the Fiorentina man would settle in fast on the right wing, that is how good Juan is.
Another plus that he could have added to the Red Devils is that Louis van Gaal would have gotten Rafael a worthy competition, it appears that the 24-year-old Brazilian has been easing off recently probably because of lack of competition or the incessant injury he suffered. It will be recalled that the Brazilian has only managed about 30 games for his Manchester employers in three seasons.
On the overall, Juan Cuadrado could still be available but to the club most in dire need of his services, because whether he pens down a new contract or not, with as much as £35m, a switch could still be possible and that might confirm what many pundits have been saying that his agency might have been using the media stunts linking him to so many clubs to get the bumper wage structure that he is now being offered.