Juan Cuadrado has completed his transfer from Fiorentina to Chelsea for a total fee of €35 million (£26m), including bonuses – a move which has left Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi feeling disappointed.
Chelsea activated a release clause in the Colombian’s contract, meaning Fiorentina could not prevent Cuadrado from talking to the Premier League leaders and, although negotiations dragged on, an agreement was finally reached late on transfer deadline day.
Fiorentina lose a key member of their squad, much to the chagrin of one of their most high-profile followers.
“It’s true, I’m disappointed about the sale of Cuadrado to Chelsea,” Renzi, a known Fiorentina fan, told La Stampa. “But maybe with that money, we can rebuild the team.”
It was an inevitable sale, with Fiorentina managing to resist advances for the 26-year-old in the summer, touching up his contract and inserting the buy-out clause in October, but having their hands tied by that very clause in this transfer window.
“It was a negotiation which had to be done,” coach Vincenzo Montella said at a news conference at the weekend. “From my point of view it’s disappointing, but the club did the right thing.
“A top player has left us, but I still see similar characteristics in Salah. I don’t think [selling Cuadrado] means we have taken a step backwards. [Cuadrado] is a professional and he always wants to play, and I’m pleased because he’s joining a top club.
“Cuadrado is a player that has always arrived with a smile and given everything to Fiorentina.”
Cuadrado scored a total of 26 goals in 106 appearances for the Viola, whom he joined from Udinese in 2012 having first arrived in Italy to play for Lecce in 2011.