The Fiorentina boss has admitted that the Colombian star is on his way to Stamford Bridge in a deal that ‘had to be done’.
The BBC report that a £23.3m fee will be paid to the Stadio Artemio Franchi side, with the formalities of the deal set to be rounded up before the transfer window closes.
Montella’s comments on the switch suggest that Mohamed Salah will go the other way and spend the rest of the campaign on loan with the Florence-based side
"It was a sale that had to be done,” Montella told Fiorentina’s official website.
"The club has done the right thing because we are also getting a very good player. Naturally, we need to understand how long Salah will need to adapt to our football as it's different from the English and Swiss leagues.
"From a defensive standpoint, Cuadrado guarantees us a lot more than Salah. Cuadrado is a player that has always arrived with a smile and given everything to Fiorentina.
"I am convinced that if he could have played tomorrow against Genoa he would have. I'm happy for him because he is going to a big club."
Cuadrado starred for Colombia at the World Cup in the summer and has consistently been producing impressive performances for Fiorentina over the last number of years.
The 26-year-old will not arrive in time to face Manchester City today, but could well make his debut for the club next weekend.
Salah has struggled for game time since moving to West London from FC Basel and will be glad to have more time on the pitch for the rest of the campaign.