Reports: Arsenal to bring in former Chelsea star in January for €31 million
What's the story?
Arsenal are lining up a shock move for Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado in January, according to multiple reports in England. The Colombian is keen on a return to the Premier League, having not had the best of times with Chelsea, but has resurrected his career with the Serie A champions. The Gunners had still held out hope for signing AS Monaco target Thomas Lemar in the future, but seem to have been priced out of a move. Cuadrado is Arsene Wenger's next option on the transfer shortlist and would arrive for far cheaper - for a fee in the range of €31 million.
Also Read: 6 things you should know about Juan Cuadrado
In case you didn't know...
Juan Cuadrado came through the ranks at Independiente Medellin, before making his move to Europe in 2009, aged 21. A journeyman career in the Serie A saw him turn out for Udinese and Lecce, before finally finding his feet at Fiorentina.
Chelsea were impressed with his performances for the Viola, paying £23 million for the Colombian's services. However, Cuadrado found opportunities hard to come by and then left for Juventus, initially on a two-year loan deal, which was made permanent for €20 million this summer.
The heart of the matter
Juventus are reportedly keen on making a profit for the Colombian winger, who reportedly, isn't a major part of Massimiliano Allegri's long-term plans. However, Arsenal are keen to bring in reinforcements in January and would be willing to meet Juventus' asking price, having reportedly had a lesser bid rejected late in this summer's transfer window.
Arsene Wenger is keen on a versatile option, as Cuadrado can also operate as a wingback in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Hector Bellerin's only backup being youngster Reiss Nelson. The Colombian winger can also operate on either wing, thus offering the chance to rotate with Alexis Sanchez or Sead Kolasinac on the left wing, now that Kieran Gibbs has left the club.
Arsene Wenger has never been a fan of the January transfer window, but he's made some important purchases in the past, such as Andrei Arshavin. While Juan Cuadrado isn't the 'star' option many fans would prefer, his role as a squad player has come to the fore in long seasons - which Juventus have taken advantage of recently.