Manchester United supposedly received a huge boost in their quest to sign Juan Cuadrado when the winger was left out of the Fiorentina squad to take on Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly match in Warsaw on Saturday.
It was taken as a sign that the Italian club’s coach, Vincenzo Montella, was preparing for life without the Colombia international, whose impressive performances at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil earlier this summer have attracted the interest of both the Red Devils and Spanish giants Barcelona.
However, Montella appears to have poured cold water on that theory by explaining his reason why he decided to omit the 26-year-old from his team.
‘We told the truth’, Football Italia quotes the Italian tactician as saying. ‘Cuadrado and Roncaglia are suspended for the first Serie A game of the season, so there was no sense in bringing them here’.
Indeed, both Cuadrado and defender Facundo Roncaglia will sit out the Viola’s first league game of the 2014-15 campaign against AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on August 30.
The first match will be massive for both teams, especially with Roma being many Serie A followers’ favourites to win the Scudetto.
The importance of kicking off the campaign with victory cannot be undermined, which is why Montella is already gearing up for the clash by playing his available players in pre-season friendly matches.
Yet, the link between Cuadrado and United will not go away.
The Premier League giants are reportedly interested in the former Udinese star to solve their problems in wide areas, but they may have to cough up as much as €50 million (£40m) to sign him.
Moreover, Cuadrado featured in Fiorentina’s 2-1 victory over Real Betis earlier this week, but now he has been played out of the team to play Madrid on Saturday.
Doubts remain on the future of one of the best wingers in the game at the moment.