Barcelona have opened negotiations with Fiorentina for Juan Cuadrado, according to reports in Spain.
Sport claims that Barca are keen to sign the right-back, viewed as the successor to Dani Alves, but it isn’t expected to be a straightforward process.
A major early stumbling block is the Italian club’s asking price, which currently stands at €30m. Barca are unwilling to go so high but talks are expected to continue.
Barca are said to have monitored the Colombian for the season and been impressed by what they have seen. The 26-year-old is considered to be similar to Alves at the same age, with his physicality particularly catching the eye.
Cuadrado’s situation is complicated by his ownership status, with Fiorentina and Udinese each owning 50% of his contract. The clubs are speaking with Fiorentina expected to take full ownership at a cost of €11m and a player, which only raises the price for Barca should they persist with their interest.
Barca are not the only interested party, with Juventus, Bayern Munich and Arsenal also said to be making moves for him. Barca are said to be keen to wrap up the transfer before the World Cup, as a good showing for his national team would only increase the price and ratchet up the competition.
Alves is not said to be long for Camp Nou and could even leave this summer and if he did, the need for a new right-back would be greatly increased.