On-loan Pescara midfielder Juan Fernando Quintero has been the subject of repeated speculation over his future for what seems like the entire season, with a whole host of Premier League teams, including Manchester United. reportedly interested in the talented central midfielder.
Talk of an impending move to Old Trafford went in to overdrive this week with @JuezCentral claiming that Quintero “will become a Manchester United player” and that “it’s a matter of days to be made official”.
The left footed midfielder has been in good form for loan club Pescara, scoring once and assisting twice in 14 appearances for the Serie A currently have the Colombian on loan from parent club Atletico Nacional.
Quintero made his debut for Colombia in October playing 90 minutes against Cameroon, and is a player who is tipped for big things in the future.
Speaking to TMW at the beginning of the month, his agent Ricardo Calleri said: “He is a player who has many admirers in Italy and the big clubs would like him.
“However, it would be easier to see him move to a European giant seeing as he is being followed heavily by foreign sides.”
The 5”7 midfielder has spoken of his desire to play for a bigger club before and has name-dropped Manchester United as a possible destination on more than one occasion this season.
In an interview with La Gazzeta dello Sport, Quintero spoke about a number of things including his favourite position, and where he sees himself playing next season.
“I like them (Inter) a lot more because they have lots of South Americans, and I enjoy living in Italy,” he said.
United of course boast the likes of Valencia, Anderson, Rafael and Angelo Henriquez in their South American contingent and when Quintero was asked about Inter Milan, he said: “Obviously, I wouldn’t say no to other top teams but I’m aiming high: Manchester United, A.C Milan, Juventus; I’ll make a decision with my agent and my family.”
Manchester United are in the market for a central midfielder this summer with Paul Scholes looking ever likely to retire this summer and the prospect of Darren Fletcher returning to the level he reached before his illness increasingly slimming in probability. With Michael Carrick now aged 31 and Tom Cleverley and Anderson often blighted with injury, United are very short.
Kevin Strootman, Hector Herrera and Victor Wanyama have been strongly tipped for summer moves but it is perhaps Quintero who is the most exciting. He has already been compared with his fellow countryman James Rodriguez, and has been likened with Juan Roman Riquelme in the past.
Although most are a little in the dark over the Colombian, he was the star of the stand out player of the Youth Copa America and his senior cap is testament to his ability in a national team which is hardly short of central midfielders.
Quintero is a player with an eye for a pass who likes to dictate the tempo and rhythm of the game. While he has been known to play deeper, he confessed in a recent interview that his favoured position is the ‘number 10’ role. His passing ability and wand of a left foot would certainly be a welcome addition to United’s troubled engine room.
While Quintero may not be the tough-tackling midfielder many fans desire, it could be argued that with Phil Jones excelling in that aforementioned role in the past month, a creative midfielder may be next on the shopping list for Sir Alex Ferguson. Providing “nothing crazy happens,” a move could potentially materialise.