Updates from Friday, Sept. 5
David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror passed along Falcao's comments regarding his move:
"No one has the idea of the stress I experienced at the time," said Falcao. "The transfer almost wasn't achieved but thank God we had an additional hour and then it occurred."
"The first impressions that I took made a great impact on me,” said Falcao. “Manchester United is a great institution that lacks nothing and I'm happy to have taken this step."
Falcao missed the World Cup through injury after suffering crucial ligament damage in January and underwent knee surgery, but he has made his long-awaited comeback with Colombia.
"I'm very happy and excited to return to the team," said Falcao. "The hard times have made me grow as a human being and today
“I appreciate very much my life in football. I am very confident, I have scored goals again [for Monaco], and now I just want to play."
Radamel Falcao has agreed to arguably the most sensational transfer of the summer, joining Manchester United to boost manager Louis van Gaal's ailing attack.
The deal was made official on the team's Twitter feed:
Falcao briefly discussed the news via the club's website:
I am delighted to be joining Manchester United on loan this season. Manchester United is the biggest club in the world and is clearly determined to get back to the top. I am looking forward to working with Louis van Gaal and contributing to the team’s success at this very exciting period in the club’s history.
He later tweeted a series of messages, expressing his delight at becoming United's new No. 9. Falcao also clarified that his decision to join the club was not forced upon him:
Moving to @ManUtd was my decision. It's exciting to play at the world's best club and in such a competitive league.— Radamel Falcao (@FALCAO) September 2, 2014
Van Gaal confessed he simply had to move for the player once he heard of his availability:
I am delighted Radamel has joined us on loan this season. He is one of the most prolific goalscorers in the game. His appearance-to-goal ratio speaks for itself and, when a player of this calibre becomes available, it is an opportunity not to be missed.
Sky Sports and B/R UK guest columnist Guillem Balague indicates the temporary deal will become permanent at the end of the season:
Falcao agents insist he's been bought €65m for 4 years. Loan deal first for FFP reasons?— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) September 1, 2014
Both Manchester City and Arsenal were said to be seeking Falcao's signature on deadline day, according to Paul Brown of the Daily Star. Real Madrid has also been a longtime admirer of the former Atletico Madrid man, but ultimately denied any serious interest, per Balague for B/R UK:
. @GuillemBalague: An addition on Chicharito—Real Madrid considered Negredo and Soldado, and denied also they ever wanted Falcao.— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) September 1, 2014
Falcao's arrival certainly provides a major boost to an attack that has failed to score in two of its four competitive games this season. Only Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata have hit the back of the net for United so far, while Robin van Persie has posted a couple of laboring displays upon returning to first-team duty.
Balague believes van Gaal is expecting van Persie to have a long road back to full health:
Van Gaal thinks Van Persie will continue struggling with injuries and Falcao is more than an ideal replacement— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) September 1, 2014
Falcao's loan reportedly sees Monaco land a minor fee up front, per Stuart Mathieson of the Manchester Evening News:
#mufc fee for Falcao understood to be around £5m— Stuart Mathieson (@StuMathiesonMEN) September 1, 2014
The 28-year-old striker, who signed a five-year deal with the principality club last summer, ended up appearing in less than 20 matches for the Ligue 1 runners-up. He scored nine goals in 17 league performances last season, per WhoScored.com, and has netted two in three this campaign.
Where does Falcao rank among strikers?
Falcao's recent ailment forced him to miss Colombia's exciting World Cup run. It was a major setback for the player, who was finally going to get his chance to shine on the world stage. Los Cafeteros played exciting football in Brazil, led by the likes of James Rodriguez, and could have used a deadly forward of Falcao's ilk to finish chances off.
Monaco's willingness to sell the player so quickly perhaps comes as a shock. Owner Dmitry Rybolovlev has a divorce settlement of £2.6 billion, which may well influence his business dealings.
There's no denying the French club will miss Falcao's presence. After all, he is one of the top strikers in the world, and it's a position with limited depth in terms of top-end talent. Sinan Memon of Vavel considers the Colombian superstar the best in the world at the role he plays:
I've always maintained that Falcao is the best striker in the world. Suarez is brilliant but when Falcao is on form there is no one better.— Sinan Memon (@sinanmemon) June 24, 2014
Following a stay with Monaco that didn't live up to expectations, he'll now look to reestablish himself as an elite striker with his third club in as many seasons. Finding top form when constantly changing teams is always much easier said than done.
The deal will raise questions over United's transfer plan given that it seems to have a much greater need for defensive reinforcements, but there is no denying that Falcao is a world-class addition.