Arsenal and Barcelona have been given a massive boost in their pursuit of Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado after the Serie A side's honorary president Andrea Della Vale admitted it will very difficult to avoid the Colombian star's departure this summer.
The versatile 26-year-old - whose contract expires in three years - is proving to be a sensation at the World Cup, helping his side to victories over Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan with four assists.
Cuadrado gave hope to the Gunners and Barca when asked about his future after helping Colombia defeat Uruguay, telling Marca: "Right now I am focussed on the World Cup. After that, the time will come to think about my future."
Fiorentina are said to be reluctant to negotiate a deal for the Colombian, given they only recently bought him from Udinese for around £20m.
However, according to La Nazione, Della Vale has admitted that it will be very difficult to retain the star at the Artemio Franchi Stadium, saying: "I have always promised to do the best to keep him in Florence and it is my first aim.
"It is really difficult, but I will do what is possible."
Reports in Spain claim Gunners officials are set to meet with Cuadrado's agent in the coming weeks in order to outbid Barca for the star's services, as it is reported that the Catalans have already agreed personal terms with the player, having earmarked him as a replacement for Dani Alves at right-back.
Arsene Wenger is desperately looking for a dependable right-back to replace Bacary Sagna and even though reports claim his first-choice is Serge Aurier, Cuadrado could also bolster the midfield.