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Report: Juan Cuadrado and FC Barcelona Talks Advance; Sergi Roberto Offered Contract Extension

Barça's squad keeps shaping up. Juan Cuadrado is close to signing and the club wants to give Sergi Roberto a better deal

Clive Rose

We are close to the end of the World Cup. With that comes the Europe leagues preseason and FC Barcelona continues to take steps to complete the "deep squad rebuilding" promised by the team's board. Diario Sport reports two negotiations that could happen soon.

The first one is the long-awaited signing of Colombia international Juan Cuadrado. After his team was eliminated by Brazil, Cuadrado's agent contacted Serie A's Fiorentina to discuss his client's future. Both sides seem to agree that a move away from Italy is the best step for the 26-year-old's career. The rumours of a possible transfer to Barça started a couple of months ago, and they kept getting stronger as time went on.

Now, it seems almost inevitable that the agreement will indeed happen. New Barça manager Luis Enrique wants Cuadrado badly, and he considers his signing a priority for next season. Lucho is not even waiting for the Dani Alves situation to be solved. Even if the Brazilian stays, Cuadrado will join Barça. His transfer fee is currently set at around €40 million, and Fiorentina is reportedly not going to make the negotiations hard. Officials of both clubs will meet in Italy this week to possibly seal the deal, and Cuadrado could be a Blaugrana as soon as next Monday, depending on how fast the agreement happens.

The other negotiation going on involves Barça midfielder Sergi Roberto. The 22-year-old La Masía product is a Lucho bet for next season. He was officially promoted to the main squad last year, but Tata Martino wasn't quite sold on Sergi, and he didn't have many opportunities. With the abscence of Cesc Fábregas and maybe Xavi, Enrique promises to give Roberto more time on the field, so he can develop and become the next great Barça mid, as he was considered to be when promoted by Pep Guardiola for the first time, four years ago.

So Barça is currently taking steps to ensure that Sergi stays as a Blaugrana, offering him a 5-year contract extension, that would keep him at Barça until 2019. Roberto is in the last year of his current deal, and the club will restructure his contract to give him more money and a few bonuses for performance achievements. This deal is secondary issue now, though, because Barça's priorities are still the signings for next season. But Sergi's extension almost a certainty, and that could happen within the next couple of weeks.

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