The saga surrounding Juan Cuadrado’s future is entering it’s final phase as the clock ticks down towards deadline day.
One of the most coveted players on the transfer market this summer, less than two weeks remain for the Colombian’s whereabouts for this season to be decided.
However, current employers Fiorentina seemingly aren’t willing to let their star man’s future go down to the wire. Instead, they’ve reportedly imposed their own deadline for interested parties.
According to Florence-based newspaper La Nazione, the Viola have notified sides with designs of swooping for the 26-year-old winger that they have only until Saturday to make offers.
The sides affected by the Stadio Artemio Franchi outfit’s ultimatum are most prominently Manchester United and Barcelona. Both have repeatedly been tipped to move for his services.
Despite constant links, by all indications neither of the European giants have yet submitted a formal bid for the former Udinese man - and Fiorentina’s patience may well be wearing thin.
Over the course of the summer the Fiorentina hierarchy have been rather transparent regarding Cuadrado. Owner Andrea Della Valle admitted earlier this month: “If an important offer were to come in we would have to let him go.”
The Italian media has insisted of late that £32 million is the magic number required to pry Cuadrado loose and it’s long been clear that he’s available for the right price.
Fiorentina, though, have now supposedly drawn a line in the sand. Losing a superb talent like Cuadrado would be a massive blow, with an adequate replacement needed direly.
And finding the Colombian’s successor is not a process the Viola seem keen to leave to the last minute. Sanctioning his sale on Saturday would give them just over a week.
United, on the other hand, have been shown an even tighter window in which make a run at signing Cuadrado if La Nazione’s claims are genuine.
With a net spend upwards of £65 million already on the books to bring in the likes of Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo, getting Cuadrado would require significant extra financial outlay. Not to mention that the decision to splash out again would need to be made under a time crunch.
It’s well-documented that making quick work of transfer business hasn’t been United’s strong suit in recent times. To land Cuadrado that could have to change - and fast - should Fiorentina indeed be planning to slam the door shut on a move before deadline day.