Juan Cuadrado
Barcelona are out of the race for Cuadrado.Getty Images

Barcelona have paved the way for Manchester United to sign coveted Juan Cuadrado by purchasing Brazilian Douglas Pereira as an alternative.

The Spanish giants had earmarked the signing of a right-back as a priority before the end of the transfer window, having previously signed Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Marc Andre Ter-Stegen, Claudio Bravo, Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen.

United target Cuadrado was said to be Barca manager Luis Enrique's preference, but with Fiorentina demanding £32m for the Colombian international the Catalans have finally opted to sign Douglas as a cheaper alternative – as they will pay just £3m plus add-ons to Sao Paulo for the Brazilian.

"FC Barcelona and São Paulo FC have reached an initial agreement for the transfer of Douglas Pereira.The deal will cost Barça four million Euros with performance variables of another one and a half million based on number of games played," the Catalans have confirmed on their official website.

Douglas will travel to Barcelona for a medical at the end of this week, when he will also put pen to paper on a five-year deal and be officially presented as the club's latest summer signing.

United manager van Gaal may now be encouraged to step up negotiations to secure the Fiorentina star.

Having already completed the signings of Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Angel Di Maria, van Gaal may view Cuadrado as the perfect man to play right wing-back in his 3-4-1-2 formation. The role is currently filled by Antonio Valencia, although the Ecuadorian has been far from convincing so far this year.

Cuadrado recently confirmed he is open to a move away from Serie A before the end of the transfer window.

"My future does not depend on me, there is still time until the market closes, isn´t there? I don't know..." he said.