Radamel Falcao: Where Would He Fit in at Manchester United?
Radamel Falcao's future has been one of the hot topics of 2013.
Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City have all been tipped as possible destinations for Atletico's No. 9, but nothing concrete had actually been reported.
Spanish paper Marca had previously led with a story linking him with a move across the Spanish capital, although the Colombian forward and his representatives were quick to play down that link (via Sky Sports).
So you'll be forgiven for thinking that Marca's headline on Wednesday morning, suggesting the 27-year-old was Old Trafford bound should be taken with little more than a pinch of salt.
By Thursday though it had gathered a little more pace. Whether encouraged by the Marca story, or acting on information of their own, The Mirror led their back page with the story that Falcao was wanted by Sir Alex Ferguson:
Still just another ploy to sell papers from a tabloid, perhaps?
Except The Mirror have been fairly astute with some of their stories this season. Their journalist John Cross took a lot of stick when he reported Mauricio Pochettino would replace Nigel Askins at Southampton, yet he was right.
An interesting aspect of that story was Guillem Balague's part in it. The Spanish journalist, renowned for his work in England, is an acquaintance of Pochettino and he played his part in defending the Cross story.
And on Wednesday afternoon, it was Balague again who added an authoritative twist to the Falcao rumors:
This twist in the future of Atleti's front man has now taken on a more realistic, believable edge. An advance payment would suggest that Falcao is all set to sign for the Red Devils this summer.
It seemed more likely that Manchester United would look to strengthen elsewhere—they already have Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez at their disposal—but the old adage does say standing still only leads to regression.
So where will he fit in if he does swap La Liga for the Premier League?
The back page of The Mirror suggests that Rooney is the man who will depart to accommodate the goals of one of Europe's deadliest No. 9's.
A simple Google News search for the English forward lists him at any number of possible clubs across Europe.
Looking back into the overflowing archives of football rumors though reveals a Daily Mail story from October 2012 which suggested Atletico were lining up a bid for Hernandez. Could the Mexican be used as a makeweight in any potential deal?
While many clubs across Europe shift their focus to midfielders, it seems Ferguson is moving in a different direction—a direction which involves overloading with star strikers.
People may say the Colombian wouldn't be needed, but players as talented and with the instinct for goal possessed by El Tigre are always needed, in spite of what you may already have at your disposal.
With Van Persie only purchased last season, the obvious assessment would be that he and Falcao would link to form one of the deadliest partnerships in recent memory.
Whether that be as part of a three in a 4-3-3, a two in an old fashioned 4-4-2 or even as a two in the PSG-like 4-2-2-2, time will only tell, but it could once again prove another brilliant move from the Manchester United manager.
Can you see Falcao at Manchester United? Where would he fit in to the starting lineup?
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