Five “great clubs” for Manchester United loan flop Radamel Falcao
Manchester United, odds-on 5/6 chances with Coral for a top four finish, look increasingly unlikely to take up the option of signing Colombia striker Radamael Falcao permanently.
Having paid a reported loan fee of £6m and the 29-year-old’s £265k-per-week wage packet, the Red Devils are set to pursue other attacking targets in the summer.
This is of no concern to Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev, though, who claims “other great clubs” remain interested in Falcao.
“I’m not worried for Falcao,” said Vasilyev. “He is a world-class striker. If Manchester United decide not take up the option at the end of the season, we have interest from other great clubs. So I am really not worried for him at all.”
This got our football experts thinking about which top sides from around Europe this might be? We put our heads together and have come up with five alternative destinations for Falcao.
Champions League holders Los Blancos (11/4 joint-favourites to retain the European Cup) have long-standing interest in this frontman, who was prolific across the Spanish capital at Atletico Madrid.
When he signed for Monaco in 2013, the Bernabeu was touted as another potential home for Falcao, and Real were once again linked with him when he became available for loan. Carlo Ancelotti signed Javier Hernandez from United on a temporary season-long deal instead, however.
That move for Mexico’s Chicharito is unlikely to be made permanent so, despite their other Galactico greats Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Falcao’s compatriot James Rodriguez, Real need another centre forward to give Karim Benzema some competition.
Ageing Peruvian poacher Claudio Pizarro is out of contract at the Allianz this summer, plus rumours have recently surfaced that Poland striker Robert Lewandowski is unhappy under Pep Guardiola.
Bayern dominate the Bundesliga and are joint market leaders for Champions League glory, though Falcao would still false nine favourites Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller to contend with a spot in magnificent Munich’s attack. Their wide stars, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, are getting old too, so he could come in as part of an overhaul, which pushes other forwards out to the wing.
You’d think Monaco mad to sell their prized asset to a domestic rival in France’s Ligue 1, but eyebrows were raised recently by Leonardo Jardim allowing Argentine winger Lucas Ocampos to make a loan switch to Marseille.
PSG will be aware of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract situation. His deal at the Parc des Princes is up in 2016, and the same can be said of Ezequiel Lavezzi. Falcao is four years younger than the Sweden superstar, so this option cannot be ruled out.
The Nerazzurri are in desperate need of a centre forward to act as a foil to promising Argentine attacker Mauro Icardi. Falcao fits the bill nicely, but Roberto Mancini will be unable to attract him to the San Siro, despite investor Erick Thohir’s billions, if Inter don’t get into the Champions League.
Lukas Podolski is only on loan from Arsenal, so his long-term future remains up in the air, while Rodrigo Palacio has averaged a pathetic one goal in every five games. Inter are 14/1 shots to win the Europa League.
It’s fair to say Los Che loan signings Rodrigo Moreno and Alvaro Negredo have flopped as badly as, if not worse than, Falcao. Both have three La Liga goals for the Bats, who are still somehow in the hunt for Champions League football next term.
Valencia would be a great place for Falcao to revive his fortunes, and help develop Paco Alcacer into a world-class striker. Owner Peter Lim certainly has the financial clout to make it happen but, as with Inter, it does depend on Los Che returning to Europe’s elite club competition.