FC Barcelona has made the biggest signing of the season buying Uruguayan Luis Suarez from Liverpool in exchange for 84 million euro, but they seem to not be done with the purchasing this summer. The Cules have now targeted Colombian sensation Juan Cuadrado, who could become the next Cafetero star to land in Spain.
With James Rodriguez already suited up in Real Madrids number 10 jersey, Cuadrado seems to be poised to follow his countryman, although they would become rivals in the two giants in the tournament.
Barça has been following Cuadrado for a bit and last season they were greatly impressed with his performances at Fiorentina.
In the Viola club the Colombian became a star, leading the attack of a team that was consciously built to hold possession of the ball and live on the opposite side of the field.
His track record at Fiorentina was so great that the team called up the option Udinese had given them to purchase his entire transfer for an extra 15 million euro, after having already paid 7 million for his loan.
Since his full cost had been 23 million euro and his performance with Colombia in the World Cup was quite positive, the team from Florence has put a price tag in his player of 50 million euros.
Barcelona has already offered 42 million euro, but Fiorentina courteously declined it. However, the team president, Daniele Prade, admitted he would likely not be able to turn down any offer over 50 million.
The quantity goes against Barça professed love of their own youth system, and precisely in a year when they have already found lots of criticism after signing Suarez and Rakitic for multimillion euro deals instead of looking for capable players to cover those roles in their lower divisions.
To impact Cuadrados arrival to Barcelona further, its been said that the team wants to sign the Colombian in order to replace right defender Dani Alves.
The Brazilian has consistently let fans and coaches at Barcelona down in the last two seasons, being quite far from the player who ruled the right side at Camp Nou for three years coming from Sevilla.
Even with the Canarinha, Alves has lost his starting spot to veteran Maicon, after Luiz Felipe Scolari grew annoyed with his antics on and off the field.
While the transfer money from Alves PSG is said to have offer 40 million for him–could definitely help bring Cuadrado to Barcelona, the idea of signing the Cafetero to cover his spot in defense seems to be completely erroneous.
Cuadrado has thrived as an attacker both at Fiorentina and with Colombia. A winger who is versatile enough to beat opposing defenders or to act as a play maker in more centered positions behind the forward line, but despite his physical power, he can seldom be considered a defender.
Up front, the Blaugranas already have Suarez, Messi, Neymar, Pedro and Iniesta, and yet another winger seems like overkill, even more so when the starting three attackers are not the type that like to be subbed off during matches.
Barcelona then needs to decide on two key aspects of this situation: do they want to spend so much money on signing Cuadradado and, if they do, is it in order to have line up in defense.
If the answer is positive, Cuadrado could become like James, Falcao, Rincon or Valderrama in his daythe next Colombian star to grace the Spanish Liga.