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Arsenal and Man Utd face uphill battle to sign Colombia star

| 19.06.2014

Despite being devoid of a true giant of international football, Group C continues to serve up some of the tastiest attacking play at the World Cup, with Colombia’s 2-1 win over Ivory Coast an early contender for game of the tournament.

Juan Cuadrado and James Rodriguez eventually proved too much for the Elephants, despite Gervinho’s mazy dribble and finish forcing a nervy last 15 minutes for Jose Pekerman’s side.

Colombia are now in a commanding position in Group C and after two wins from two, their odds of 20/1 to win the World Cup will surely see more takers in the coming days.

Cuadrado swung in the corner that was nodded in by James Rodriguez to make it 1-0, the winger’s third assist of the World Cup in two games.

The 26-year-old created four chances in total, more than anyone else on the pitch, and also showed off his dribbling ability by completing three take ons.

Fiorentina waited until the match was in full flow to announce that they had bought Udinese out of their share in the player and La Viola will have watched Cuadrado set the game alight with increasing smugness.

The Italian club can now either choose to sell Cuadrado after the World Cup when his stock will be highest and pocket the entire transfer fee, or keep the 26-year-old all for themselves.

Meanwhile, Manchester United and Arsenal, who have both been linked with the Colombian, might find it even harder to prise him away from Florence, with competition increasing all the time.

Barcelona are also reportedly in for Cuadrado and if he continues to shine in Brazil, Los Blaugrana won’t be the last top club to join the chase.

The versatile Cuadrado can play in almost any midfield position and enjoyed a superb year with Fiorentina, notching 11 goals and five assists in 32 league appearances.

The dribbling skill he has shown at the World Cup will be no surprise to fans of Serie A as, with 116, Cuadrado completed more take ons than anyone else in the league last season.

Further testament to his quality on the ball is found in the fact that only two players in Europe’s five major leagues were fouled more then Cuadrado, who won a ridiculous 114 free kicks for Fiorentina.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune