Manchester United land Radamel Falcao on loan and buy Daley Blind
Manchester United, 14/1 with Coral to win the Premier League, have made major Transfer Deadline Day headlines by completing a sensational loan swoop for Colombia and Monaco striker Radamel Falcao and purchasing Daley Blind from Ajax to bolster defensive positions.
Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils beat off reported competition from FA Cup holders Arsenal, English top-flight champions Manchester City and Champions League winners Real Madrid to net fearsome forward Falcao on a temporary basis.
Coral understand the reported £6m loan deal for the 28-year-old could be made permanent by United for a fee of £43.5m. Speculation heightened that Falcao’s future at Monaco was in doubt when he was dropped completely for their matchday squad this past weekend, so the player watched a 1-1 home draw with Lille from the stands.
City are believed to have pulled out of the race for his signature, because they cannot make space for Falcao in their squad. Madrid, meanwhile, have opted to loan in the Red Devils’ out of favour striker Javier Hernandez instead. Arsenal missed out France forward Loic Remy, as Chelsea completed his £10.5m capture from QPR.
Falcao netted 11 times in 20 league outings for Monaco, but missed the second half of last season and the recent World Cup in Brazil with a serious knee injury. Concerns about his fitness have been allayed, however, by his return to first-team action with the prolific attacker striking twice in three appearances this term.
Counting River Plate, Porto and Atletico Madrid among his former clubs, Falcao has fired in 104 league goals in just 139 games (a ratio of about three for every four matches played) since moving to Europe in 2009. He will compete with United club captain Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie for a starting spot at Old Trafford, as Danny Welbeck has left in a £16m move for Arsenal, signing a long-term deal.
Blind, 24, meanwhile, joins the Red Devils for a reported £14m on a four-year contract. He was part of the Netherlands’ World Cup squad selected by Van Gaal when he was national coach.
This arrival bolsters the midfield anchor position, as well as left and centre back berths. Blind will provide competition for fellow summer signings Luke Shaw, who has missed the start of the season through injury, and Marcos Rojo. He will also cover for another arrival Ander Herrera, vice-captain Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick in a deep-lying midfield role.
Despite their winless start to the season, United are 5/4 to finish in the top four.