Manchester United have made a €35m – £27.7m – offer for Colombia international Juan Cuadrado, according to reports in a Spanish newspaper, which suggest United are looking to beat Barcelona in the race to the Fiorentina winger.
United had already tabled two separate offers for the Colombian two weeks ago, the first one thought to be in the region of €25m – £19.7m – while the second was around €30m – £23.7m – but look to be prepared to go a step further to secure the services of the 27-year-old, who impressed at the World Cup for Los Cafeteros.
Spanish newapaper Sport claims Barcelona are set to enter the race for Cuadrado and a first official offer to Fiorentina could be imminent, but the Catalan club might be in danger of losing out to United after it was confirmed the Reds had raised their bid to £27.7m, a fee thought to be enough to lure the Colombian away from Florence.
Bayern Munich had also been tracking Cuadrado earlier this summer, but they’ve now pulled out of the race as Pep Guardiola looks to assess his options before entering the transfer market, which leaves United and Barcelona set to battle it out for a player who appeals both clubs, albeit for different reasons.
Despite renewing Antonio Valencia’s contract, United remain desperate for a quick, attacking winger, capable of beating his man and providing a good return of goals and assists. However, while Cuadrado’s versatility – he’s played as winger, right wing-back and right-back for Fiorentina – would make him an ideal candidate for Louis Van Gaal’s 4-3-3, 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 formation it has also alerted Barcelona, who consider the Colombian a perfect alternative to Dani Alves.
Cuadrado was one of the stars of of Colombia’s World Cup campaign, scoring once and assisting a further four goals in five appearances, however spending £27.7m on a player who’s never played for a top team despite being already 27 might seem like an unnecessary gamble for United to take this summer.
On the other hand, Cuadrado’s performances for Fiorentina have been excellent – he scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in 43 appearances in all competitions for Fiorentina last season – and he could benefit from playing in a better club.