Chelsea look to be on the verge of tying up a deal for Juan Cuadrado, with Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella having confirmed that his player will be heading away from Florence and Mohamed Salah will be coming in as his replacement on loan.
The Colombian winger – who shone at the World Cup last year – has been heavily linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge in recent days, with the player understood to have already agreed personal terms with the Blues.
A fee of around £23.3m is thought have been agreed, which is just short of the much talked about £26.8m release clause in his contract.
Cuadrado is now thought to be very close to sealing the big money switch, with reports suggesting that he attended today’s training session, but only to say farewell to his current team-mates.
And Montella has now revealed that a move, including Salah on loan, will go through:
“I want to be honest: it [the sale of Cuadrado] was something that had to be done.” He is quoted by the Daily Star.
“As a coach I’m sorry because technically he is such a good player but the club has made the right decision.
“We get a great player in Salah although we will need some time to adapt to each other. Salah is not quite the same player as Cuadrado and can’t play as a quinto, so we will need a ‘vice-Joaquin’.
“Is is a distraction? We are used to it. It is not anyone’s fault and we can’t use Cuadrado’s exit as an excuse for tomorrow’s game.
“Could we have kept Cuadrado until the summer? Yes, possibly but he always gave everything for the club and he would have done again if he had played tomorrow.
“He is an ultimate professional and I am happy for him because he is joining a big club. We have to show that Cuadrado is not the only reason we are where we are.”
The 26-year-old is now set to fly to England, where he could sign for Chelsea before next week’s transfer deadline passes.
Chelsea are set to sell Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg in a deal worth over £20m to make room for Cuadrado.
— Dominic Fifield (@domfifield) January 30, 2015