Where Will Radamel Falcao Be Playing Next Season?
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After two incredibly prolific seasons in Spain with Atletico Madrid, speculation is rife that Radamel Falcao could be leaving the Vicente Calderon stadium this summer.
There would be a long queue of clubs keen to sign the Colombian striker, but where is his most likely destination? Will he be playing in Germany, France or England next season?
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson
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There was a flurry of excitement when it was reported last week Manchester United were interested in signing Radamel Falcao only for Sir Alex Ferguson to quickly laugh at the notion.
"Do you honestly believe that?" he said. "Really? It does amaze me that you come up with that one."
It is worth noting he doesn’t actually deny the story, and then this weekend it was reported Ferguson's Chief Scout Jim Lawlor watched Falcao score twice for Atletico Madrid in their win over Granada.
There does appear to be some lingering interest, but it still seems unlikely the Colombian striker will be at Old Trafford next season.
It came as a surprise United were willing to spend £24 million on Robin van Persie last summer, so to spend around around double that on Falcao just a year later appears far-fetched.
At the moment United have their strongest stable of forwards since the Treble-winning season of 1999 in Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, and unless one of them is moved on there doesn’t appear room for Falcao as well.
Likelihood of Falcao joining Manchester United: 20%
Chelsea may finally have lost patience with Fernando Torres
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Stamford Bridge appears to be Falcao’s most obvious destination.
Firstly, Chelsea have the funds, and a track record of not being afraid to spend big to get the players they want, most notably when they wrote a cheque for £50 million to lure Fernando Torres from Liverpool in January 2011.
It has been Torres’ failure to justify that fee in the last two years that has made the signing of a prolific goal scorer a necessity once again this summer.
Demba Ba was an astute addition to the Chelsea squad in January, but Chelsea still crave a greater presence up front and a prolific goal scorer to compete with the Manchester clubs next season, and Falcao’s has long been talked about as their transfer priority for this summer.
If there are no better offers, Falcao could be moving to London.
Likelihood of Falcao joining Chelsea: 30%
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has become a symbol of PSG's ambition
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The idea of the world’s leading players moving to Paris Saint-Germain seemed faintly ridiculous until they unveiled Zlatan Ibrahimovic last summer.
The simple truth is PSG’s Qatari owners have proved they will pay the biggest transfer fees and wages to get who they want.
And it was three months ago that Falcao began flirting with PSG.
"France is a wonderful country," he said to Telesfoot (via the Mirror). "I have been there before and I liked it very much. "PSG has a very ambitious project and has invested a lot of money to build an important team. They are going to need some time but they could reach their objective very soon.
"It's not impossible that PSG and me see each other very soon."
The ambition of PSG, their unlimited funds and the chance to play alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic could see Falaco moving to the French capital this summer.
Likelihood of Falcao joining Paris Saint-Germain: 40%
Pep Guardiola will take charge of Bayern Munich next season
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As soon as it was announced Pep Guardiola would be in charge at the Allianz Arena from next season the likelihood of Rademal Falcao following him significantly increased.
Having faced him in La Liga, Guardiola knows all about the Colombian striker, and last year said, “He is a sensational player, the best striker in the box.”
Working with Guardiola and Bayern’s exciting squad would certainly appeal to Falcao.
Bayern showed they could compete with the world’s leading clubs when they signed Javi Martinez for €40 million last summer, and they could be willing to spend even more to bring Falcao to Germany as a welcome gift to their new manager.
Likelihood of Falcao joining Bayern Munich: 15%
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini
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All season long the Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has made clear his frustration at missing out on signing Robin van Persie last summer.
"We were very close to signing him, I know what the reason was but I won't say. It was not about money. We wanted Van Persie because we knew he was totally different from our other strikers," he has said.
Mancini won’t want to miss out on his transfer targets again this summer and needs a more reliable source of goals. The City manager has not hidden his admiration for Falcao.
There is also a vacancy in the Manchester City squad now following the departure of Mario Balotelli to AC Milan in January.
In Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguerro and Edin Dzeko, City already boast three fine strikers, but the signing of Falcao would be a statement of intent for next season.
Likelihood of Falcao joining Manchester City: 30%