Radamel Falcao Transfer Rumours: Latest News on the as Monaco Star

Jonathan JohnsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2014

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 27:  Radamel Falcao of Monaco looks on during the the pre season friendly match between Leicester City and Monaco at The King Power Stadium on July 27, 2013 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Back in December, while sidelined with a mystery thigh problem, AS Monaco’s Radamel Falcao insisted that he is going nowhere this January, as reported by ESPN FC's Ian Holyman.

Since then, reports linking the Colombian international away from the Ligue 1 side have dried up somewhat. However, there is still a feeling that El Tigre is not entirely happy in the principality, and a move this month or in the summer remains a possibility.

At the start of December, both Les Monegasques manager Claudio Ranieri and captain Eric Abidal insisted that Falcao remains committed to the newly promoted club’s ambitious project, according to Holyman of ESPN FC.

Since then, Monaco have signed Ivory Coast international Lacina Traore from struggling Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and are thought to be keen on loaning him out for the rest of the season, per ESPN FC

The plan is believed to be to pair the towering African with the South American long term. 

However, the move could just as easily be the French side bringing in a potential replacement in case Falcao decides that he wants to leave before the transfer window closes.

The 27-year-old has endured a mediocre start to life in Le Championnat, netting nine times in 15 starts but generally struggling to impress.

LILLE, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 03:  Radamel Falcao of Monaco in action during the French Ligue 1 match between OSC Lille and AS Monaco at the Grand Stade Metropole Villeneuve-d'Ascq on November 3, 2013 in Lille, France.  (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)
Harry Engels/Getty Images

Since returning from injury in Monaco’s final match of 2013, a 2-1 home defeat against Valenciennes, the former Atletico Madrid man has not scored a single goal. 

To make matters worse, Falcao missed a penalty in that home defeat to Valenciennes and once again struggled to impose himself in last week’s 1-1 draw at struggling Montpellier HSC.

It is these recent performances, and a number prior to his mystery “injury,” that has sparked the speculation.

The prolific marksman does not seem happy on the pitch for Ranieri’s side at present, and until he starts playing with more confidence, these stories will likely continue until at least the end of the month. 

Although Monaco sporting director Vadim Vasilyev emphatically denied reports linking the principality outfit with Spanish giants Real Madrid and English Premier League side Chelsea, according to Holyman of ESPN FC, those two sides continue to be his most likely suitors. 

In an article published by the London Evening Standard's Simon Johnson, Falcao is reported to top Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s wish list between now and the summer.

On the pitch, the Colombian is struggling to help his new side overhaul defending champions Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1.

But as it stands, Les Monegasques are currently looking good for UEFA Champions League qualification at the least, which is the ambition that has been stated since he arrived at the Stade Louis II.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - DECEMBER 20:  Monaco's foward Radamel Falcao  sits on the bench during the first period of the French L1 football match between AS Monaco vs Valenciennes at Louis II Stadium on December 20, 2013 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Did
Didier Baverel/Getty Images

Ranieri’s side have the shadow of a Real Madrid bid for their star man, according to the Daily Mail's Mike Dawes, hanging over them at present.

Even qualification for Europe’s top-club competition, a sacrifice for one season that Falcao knowingly made in joining the French side, may not be enough to convince El Tigre to stay in the principality.

At present, though, the 27-year-old has done little to preserve his outstanding reputation that was carved through prolific spells with FC Porto and Atletico in his four-year stint in Europe.

It is difficult to see why Atleti’s fierce rivals, Real Madrid and Mourinho’s Chelsea, would be prepared to gamble what would have to be a massive fee to prise him away from the ambitious Russian-owned side on a player struggling for form.

Monaco have the financial means to compete with the likes of those two clubs, although their money arguably only counts for so much without continental competition at present.

That is perhaps why moving for Falcao now would appeal to both sides, with deep runs in Europe still possible.

LILLE, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 03:  Monaco manager Claudio Ranieri looks on prior to kick off during the French Ligue 1 match between OSC Lille and AS Monaco at the Grand Stade Metropole Villeneuve-d'Ascq on November 3, 2013 in Lille, France.  (Photo by Harry E
Harry Engels/Getty Images

Once Les Monegasques qualify for the Champions League, they have the level of financial backing that would arguably enable them to persuade the player to stay with the club and domestically help their quest.

For now, the Colombian stays with Monaco. But if his poor form and unhappiness persists, then a late-January move could be on the cards. 

What is more likely, though, if Falcao is to leave is that he would do so in the summer and at least see out the current campaign with his new employers.

Instead, for Monaco and Ranieri, January is a chance to ensure that the striker remains happy by attempting to solve the problem of service to him by acquiring some new creative talents.