The final day of the transfer window has a patent for yielding some remarkably surprising transfer deals. But even by the crazy standards this day typically sets, Radamel Falcao’s proposed move to Manchester United is staggering.
Reports have emerged suggesting that the Colombian hit man will join up with Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford on a one-year loan deal in what would be a massive coup for the Red Devils. And at a time when social media is typically a whirlwind of ferocious hyperbole and commerce, Twitter has naturally gone into overdrive.
Whispers began to emerge regarding a potential switch early on in the day, with Spanish newspaper AS suggesting that Falcao would sign for United in a big-money permanent deal, as noted here by Wayne Veysey of Goal.com:
Falcao has agreed to join Man United for €65million (£51.4m), according to Spanish paper AS.— Wayne Veysey (@wayneveysey) September 1, 2014
But as more details began to creep through, it became apparent that while the player looked set to make the move to Old Trafford, it was likely to be on a one-year loan deal, as noted here by Mark Ogden of The Telegraph:
Loan agreed for Falcao at Mufc— Mark Ogden (@MOgdenTelegraph) September 1, 2014
Daniel Taylor of The Guardian got straight to the point with his reaction as more news continued to break:
Bloody hell. Didn't wake up today expecting that. #falcao— Daniel Taylor (@DTguardian) September 1, 2014
Figures also began to come out regarding the deal, with United having reportedly splashed out a stratospheric amount to bring the player in on a temporary basis. The Mail Online broke down the fee and salary United will pay to bring the 28-year-old to Old Trafford:
FULL STORY: Falcao has cost Man United £12m for the year's loan, and will be paid £200,000-a-week http://t.co/RwyyAgNHdp— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) September 1, 2014
OptaJoe gave us an inkling of what United can expect for their outlay:
104 - Since 2009-10, Falcao has scored 104 goals in 139 league apps (for Porto, A.Madrid & Monaco combined). Lethal. #transferdeadlineday— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 1, 2014
As did WhoScored.com:
Falcao: Despite leaving in May 2013, only Messi and Ronaldo have scored more goals in La Liga since Aug 2011 than Falcao (52)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) September 1, 2014
The fan account BusbysWay was getting excited about what Falcao could potentially bring to the Red Devils' line-up:
I'll take Falcao. https://t.co/71FqsKlPTh— Karam (@BusbysWay) September 1, 2014
And with the deal seemingly on the cusp of being done, questions began to be asked about where Falcao would fit into a United forward line that is already pretty well-stocked with quality options. James Ducker of The Times proposed United’s best XI should the Monaco man join up:
The new #MUFC ? (4-3-1-2): De Gea - Rafael, Jones, Rojo*, Shaw - Herrera, Blind, Di Maria - Rooney - Falcao, RVP [* subject to work permit]— James Ducker (@DuckerTheTimes) September 1, 2014
Meanwhile, Bleacher Report UK took a light-hearted look at the Red Devils’ potential starting XI after their summer acquisitions:
If everyone is fit, this is arguably Manchester United's strongest XI. pic.twitter.com/HXdV8jC4Kd— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) September 1, 2014
And the inquest over the deal continued, with many pointing to United’s lack of defensive options as a concern. The team have struggled to come to terms with Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 system, and subsequently plenty felt that United would be looking to bolster the back-line on deadline day.
Perhaps Falcao could do a job in the back three, too? Some Red Devils fans are hoping so, as noted here by Ian Abrahams of talkSPORT:
One Utd fan just said to me "I hope Falcao can play at centre half"— Ian Abrahams (Moose) (@BroadcastMoose) September 1, 2014
Bleacher Report’s Karl Matchett looked at what this deal could potentially mean for some of United’s other players, citing Wayne Rooney as the man who could be set to be left out of the team:
Wonder if Rooney could end up as the first captain of club and country to actually start for neither.— Karl Matchett (@karlmatchett) September 1, 2014
From a Monaco perspective, you’d imagine it’ll be hugely disappointing to lose not only Falcao but James Rodriguez too; the latter signed for Real Madrid earlier this summer. But when it comes to their star centre-forward, ESPN's Miguel Delaney doesn’t think that the club will be too concerned:
Not trying to be "negative", but Falcao has also been offered to every elite club in Europe for last few weeks. Monaco desperate to offload— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) September 1, 2014
Indeed, according to sports writer Tariq Panja, Falcao’s departure was necessary for Monaco to fall in line with Financial Fair Play regulations:
Monaco's need to meet FFP regulations may partly explain Falcao loan. Club in Champions League this season but finances assessed for next— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) September 1, 2014
Failing to adhere to those regulations could have seen Monaco booted out of the Champions League. But for Falcao, that may not have been a major concern, for he’s now set to miss out on playing European football’s top-tier competition for the fifth consecutive season, as noted by BT Sport’s James Horncastle:
Falcao -one of the few elite players - for whom Champions League football obviously isn’t everything— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) September 1, 2014
But for United, it’s a deal that shows that they remain a club of huge stature and unshakeable gravitas. Even without the lure of Champions League football, they’ve been able to attract one of the game’s finest centre-forwards just days after signing one of Europe’s most coveted midfield men.
While there are other areas of the team that undeniably need strengthening, bringing in a player of Falcao’s quality is sure to give everyone at the club a major boost. After such a difficult start to the season, it’ll be the injection of momentum and goals the club needs to get their season started in earnest.