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 By Ben Gladwell

Pasqual hoping for Cuadrado stay

Fiorentina defender Manuel Pasqual says he hopes Juan Cuadrado will stay with the Serie A club after the Colombia international made his first preseason appearance on Monday night.

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Barcelona and Manchester United have both been linked with the 26-year-old winger, and club president Andrea Della Valle is pessimistic about his club's chances of holding onto the midfielder.

But Pasqual hopes that offer does not arrive and that he can continue feeding the ball to the feet of Cuadrado, who scored 11 goals in Serie A last season.

"He's only trained for two days, but he looks pretty sharp," Pasqual told Radio Blu after La Viola beat Real Betis 2-1 in a friendly on Monday evening. "He's exceptional and can decide a game all by himself.

"I hope we manage to keep hold of him because he would make the difference, but if he doesn't stay, his choice would be understandable."

The chances of Cuadrado remaining appear to hang in the balance, however. Both United and Barca have apparently been put off by the 40-million-euro price tag placed on his head with both clubs now assessing alternatives to the midfielder, who impressed at the World Cup for his country this summer.

According to Spain's El Mundo Deportivo, the player has his heart set on a move to Barcelona, and the newspaper claims he has told his teammates of his desire to leave.

Cuadrado was also reportedly unhappy on his first day back in preseason training, prior to the clear-the-air talks with club president Andrea Della Valle which led to their acceptance that the player would be allowed to leave for the right price this summer.

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