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Real Madrid Transfer News: Radamel Falcao is a Luxury, Not a Necessity

Colombian soccer star Radamel Falcao reacts as he attends a news conference at the Trindade Hospital in Porto, Portugal, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. Colombia and Monaco's striker Falcao is in a race against time to get fit for the World Cup in June after undergoing knee surgery Saturday, Jan. 25, with his doctor giving him a better than 50-50 chance of making it. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)
Paulo Duarte/Associated Press
Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2014

No team in world football has thrilled their fans as much during the 2014 summer transfer window as Real Madrid, and if the latest reports are to be believed, Los Blancos might not have finished yet.

Summer signing James Rodriguez told reporters he'd love to see compatriot Radamel Falcao move to the Spanish capital and team up at Real during his presentation, as reported by The Daily Telegraph:

"He has not said anything to me and it's not really for me to talk about, but Falcao is a great goalscorer and could play here. It is up to the club."

On Thursday, ABC reported AS Monaco are willing to make serious concessions in a potential sale of the Colombian striker (in Spanish, subscription required). Sport Witness summarised the proposed transfer:

In short, Los Blancos could assess the forward's recovery from the injury he suffered during the 2013-14 season in the pre-season, opt to bring him in on loan for €12 million and make the move permanent at the end of the season for an additional €33 million.

Now, €12 million is a very steep price for a one-year loan deal, but the club would have time to assess the state of Falcao's knee before agreeing to the move.

One has to assume the option to make the move permanent would surely be exercised should he be healthy.

Falcao's incredible ability as a pure scorer is well documented, scoring 28 goals in 34 La Liga appearances in his last year with Atletico Madrid, per WhoScored.com. He's an excellent finisher, likes to shoot from distance and often dominates defenders in the air.

Whether or not his athleticism suffered following his knee injury remains to be seen, but Los Blancos will have plenty of time to find that out. All things considered, €45 million would be a bargain for a healthy Falcao in today's transfer market.

That said, Falcao would be little more than a luxury for Real at this point. He's an incredibly gifted striker, and the best players in the world often end up playing for Real, whether the team needs them or not.

French international Karim Benzema did more than enough last season to prove he's worthy of being the starting striker for Real, however, and in the age of Financial Fair Play, it's hard to justify spending money with the 26-year-old already in place.

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

The situation is further complicated by Falcao's price tag—there's a good possibility a potential sale of Benzema could net the club roughly the same fee.

The Daily Mail's Pete Jenson believes his head's already on the chopping block, and his valuation of the striker is quite high—£40 million.

All of this is contingent on the health of Falcao, however. Benzema would probably not agree to a role as a bench player behind the Colombian, so should Falcao join Real, it would likely come at the cost of Benzema.

Can Real risk such a transfer given Falcao's injury concerns and the risk that his rehab could take a turn for the worst? After all, the finances play in Los Blancos' favour.

It truly is quite the dilemma.

Real's current crop of attacking talent is staggering. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Benzema, Rodriguez and Toni Kroos have the word "goal" written all over them. Real don't need to add an additional scorer, but then again, they didn't need a stud midfielder either.

A potential Falcao transfer to Real makes sense, and the reported finances involved indicate there's a strong possibility it will happen. But the 28-year-old will remain a luxury item for the club, and looking at his injury and the future of Benzema, one they have to approach with caution.

 

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