Manchester United make first move for €38m World Cup winger - report

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Manchester United have reportedly made the first move in their bid to sign Fiorentina star Juan Cuadrado.

The Red Devils will no doubt see their transfer activity increase now that manager Louis van Gaal has started work at Old Trafford, with the club looking to add more new faces having already landed Southampton left back Luke Shaw and Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera.

Van Gaal must now spend more money in order to make United competitive next season, with a number of areas requiring an overhaul. Centre back and central midfield remain major concerns for United, but the consistently inconsistent displays of Nani, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young mean that signing a winger must be near the top of van Gaal's transfer wish list.

The likes of Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven) and Yevhen Konoplyanka (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk) have all been linked with moves to Old Trafford this summer, but reports today suggest that Colombian winger Cuadrado is van Gaal's top target - and that United have opened talks with Fiorentina over a deal.

Cuadrado, 26, was one of the stars of the World Cup as Colombia made it to the quarter finals, and whilst he was outshone by team mate James Rodriguez, Cuadrado's speed on the right hand side was a constant menace to defences - just as it has been in Serie A. The former Udinese man racked up 13 goals and eight assists for Fiorentina last season, terrorising defences with his dribbling and blistering pace.

Barcelona are also believed to be looking at signing Cuadrado, but they could see him as a replacement for Dani Alves at right back - rather than the out-and-out winger that United see him as. The speed of Cuadrado, and the guile of Juan Mata either side of Wayne Rooney and behind Robin van Persie would give van Gaal a potentially lethal attack, and whilst €38m (£30m) is a huge amount of money, we have already seen how important speed is to van Gaal after Arjen Robben's dazzling displays at the World Cup - and Cuadrado could be seen as United's answer to the former Chelsea man.

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