Fiorentina pulled off something of a coup in keeping Juan Cuadrado over the summer, the electrifying Colombian having showcased his talent at the World Cup.
The Viola had maintained they’d try to hold on to him but would sell if the right offer came in – something that seemingly never happened.
Manchester United and Barcelona were long seen as top suitors for his services, however a stern asking price of €40 million by all accounts put the wealthy pair off.
Fiorentina then gladly retained their star man, subsequently locking him down to a new €3 million per season contract last month – which reportedly includes a €35 million buy-out clause.
Despite Cuadrado’s new deal running until 2019, the Viola were always likely to face a fight to keep him again somewhere down the road.
But according to Calciomercato, just weeks on Fiorentina are now open to selling the Colombia international in January – with ‘chaos’ making a ‘farewell close’.
The Italian outlet claims that Cuadrado’s performance is seen as having slipped and his attitude has drawn the ire of some of the team’s senior players.
On top of this, it is said that his staying at the Artemio Franchi has hamstrung the club financially on the transfer market and given coach Vincenzo Montella a tactical dilemma.
“If an offer came in during the coming January transfer window, the hard line on his prospective sale would become much more flexible,” Calciomercato write.
Yet this is a situation that is hard to envisage coming to fruition. Cuadrado is arguably the most crucial component of Montella’s side – the team’s top player.
One goal and three assists through nine appearances this season may not be up to his lofty standards, but the Viola are struggling as a whole and he’s still outperforming his team-mates.
Fiorentina are eleventh in the table and selling Cuadrado in January, despite an injection of funds, would likely do little to help turn their fortunes around.
An offer from the likes of United could well test Fiorentina’s resolve, but the club hierarchy should certainly know that a summer departure would make far more sense.
Beyond this, Cuadrado’s new contract is not even three weeks old and it’s unlikely his relationship with his employers could deteriorate so quickly.
The day when Cuadrado leaves Florence for a massive outfit such as United may not be too far off, though it would be nothing short of a surprise to see him gone in January given how things have unfolded of late.