You will remember from our piece on 20th January that Chelsea were interested in Juan Cuadrado and were ready to pay the €35 million release clause to secure his services. To circumnavigate the financial fair play regulations, it seemed likely that Chelsea would also look to offload both André Schürrle and Mohamed Salah.
In a new development, GianlucaDiMarzio.com report that Chelsea have made an attempt to sweeten the deal by offering Salah as partial payment. This mutually beneficial deal would assist Fiorentina in the difficult task of finding a replacement for Cuadrado in the January transfer window and would aid Chelsea with their financial fair play obligations.
The 22 year old Egyptian scored three Champions League goals for Basel in consecutive seasons against Chelsea, alerting them to secure his signature in January 2014. The pacy left footed winger was even dubbed the "Egyptian Messi" by some sections of the press. Salah can play on either wing or just off the striker, potentially offering Fiorentina the versatility they would need in Cuadrado's absence.
Despite this, Roma are also reportedly interested in taking Salah on an initial loan deal with a possibility of a permanent move in the summer. According to fiorentinanews.com, Roma would be the player's preferred option.
With Cuadrado's departure seeming more and more likely, seeing Salah come in as part of the deal would go some way to replacing the quality that Cuadrado brings to the team. It would also give Montella time to identify suitable players to strengthen the squad without paying January's crazy overinflated prices. However, I personally would like to see Cuadrado stay until at least the summer.
What happens next is anyone's guess but I'm sure that there will be more twists in this tale before January is out.