6 Most Likely Transfer Destinations for Atletico Madrid's Falcao

Jonathan JohnsonFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2013

6 Most Likely Transfer Destinations for Atletico Madrid's Falcao

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    Speculation is rife that Atletico Madrid’s most prized possession, Colombian marksman Radamel Falcao, will be moving on in the summer.

    It has been that way for a while though and despite Atleti coach Diego Simeone’s continued attempts to distance himself from those rumours (ESPNFC), it appears that the 27-year-old tops a host of summer wish lists spanning some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

    Since arriving in Spain from Porto, the hit-man has bagged more than 50 goals in almost two seasons at the Vicente Calderon. With all strikers being judged against the 20 goals per season mark, Falcao appears to be the ideal summer transfer splash for a host of European giants.

    However, the player still insists that he has received no bids from his potential suitors (Sky Sports), sparking further debate.

    With so many big-name European sides coveting his signature, let’s take a look at the six most likely destinations for the Colombian should he leave Atletico Madrid.

Chelsea

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    According to Sky Sports, 2012 Champions League winners Chelsea are currently favourites to sign the physical front man.

    However with £50 million tied up in misfiring striker Fernando Torres, any deal for Falcao surely depends on the Spaniard either going the other way back to his beloved former club (admittedly the best solution for both sides) or being paired with the Colombian.

    Torres insists that he would welcome the competition and that playing alongside Falcao, saying “It's not a problem at all” (ESPNFC). However, that would be a bit presumptive given that Torres is currently struggling to establish himself in the first team with the current competition at Stamford Bridge. Falcao’s arrival would likely push him further down the pecking order.

    More probable is that the club will attempt to offload Torres to his former side, a move that could help the 29-year-old rediscover his best form.  It is also one that would almost certainly secure Falcao’s signature given that it presents Simeone with a ready-made alternative.

Manchester United

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    Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are believed to have already made a down payment on the Colombian according to the article, and look set to beat Chelsea and bitter rivals City to his signature.

    Indeed many sources had it nailed on as a done deal, but the striker himself has since refuted those claims (ESPNFC).

    That deal would likely see United also use a player to try to lure Atletico to the negotiating table with either Javier Hernandez or Portuguese winger Nani being used as bait.

    Alternatively, any potential Wayne Rooney exit could help facilitate the move.

Manchester City

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    That move appears to be almost as much to spite their currently not-so-noisy neighbours as to strengthen themselves.

    Coach Roberto Mancini is a known fan of Falcao (Sky Sports), but until his future is cleared up a move for the prolific striker is by no means certain.

    Falcao would undoubtedly enrich both sides’ resources hugely, but his signature for City would almost certainly make them favourites to regain the title from United next season.

    Ferguson’s motives appear to be those of self-preservation as much as anything, so United’s true intentions may not be clear just yet.

Paris Saint-Germain

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    Interestingly the only team the Colombian has actually spoken out about and mentioned by name are Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain (Sky Sports), seemingly making them important players in the race.

    The French capital side could be in the market for a new striker come the summer if rumours of star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move away from France turn out to be true (ESPNFC).

    Falcao would be a perfect fit in Paris, with or without Zlatan, and the Colombian’s words will have encouraged sporting director Leonardo, who has also seen the club linked with Edinson Cavani of late (ESPNFC).

    PSG are unlikely to offer Ibrahimovic in return, but money is not an issue for Les Parisiens and a straight cash deal might appeal to Atletico

Real Madrid

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    Alternatively Falcao could do the riskiest thing possible and join Atleti’s bitter rivals, Real, but only provided that Los Merengues meet his minimum fee release clause.

    As recently as January, Falcao reportedly met Real supremo Florentino Perez (Sky Sports), something he later had to deny after the rumours became too strong for the club.

    Los Colchoneros actually had to move to quell the stories themselves too (Sky Sports) and that loathing for their local rivals could help the other clubs chasing his signature.

    Until Jose Mourinho’s future in the Spanish capital becomes certain, any potential transfer heist will likely have taken a backseat.

Bayern Munich

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    Finally, a surprise name in the mix could be German giants Bayern Munich.

    The Bundesliga juggernaut continued their preparations for the arrival of former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola by announcing a massive coup in landing Mario Gotze from German rivals Borussia Dortmund.

    Falcao is believed to be another player on the Bavarians’ shopping list following Guardiola’s time in Spain (The Express).

    Perhaps Bayern favour a move for Dortmund’s much-coveted star striker Robert Lewandowski instead though. The Pole is earning rave reviews across Europe following a stellar season that culminated in him scoring four goals against Real Madrid last week. 

    Lewandowski’s agent has already claimed that his client has agreed terms on a move elsewhere for next season, despite Dortmund’s protests that they will fight to keep him (ESPNFC).

    Having already splashed out to activate Gotze’s minimum fee release clause, it would seem unlikely that Bayern would do the same for another top star in the same summer.