The summer transfer window is full of surprises, but Radamel Falcao’s departure from Monaco on deadline day was far from a shock to the system.
Granted, his destination—Manchester United—was unexpected, but the Colombian’s desire to leave Ligue 1 dominated headlines throughout the last few months.
It was all just a question of who would lay enough money on the table to wrestle a shirt onto Falcao’s back, and while United ended up putting the 28-year-old on their payroll, the striker had numerous options elsewhere.
That’s according to the star’s father, who told LA FM that some of United’s bitterest English rivals were also chasing his son’s signature (via Stefan Coerts of Goal.com):
Juventus, Manchester City and Liverpool all wanted him as well, and even Arsenal made a late approach. Fortunately, he has now joined Manchester United. They are a great team.
Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal all had the financial capacity to bring Falcao in, but as they blinked, United struck.
The same goes for Real Madrid, who looked the most likely to sign the Colombian to bolster their attacking options, but ended up with United’s Javier Hernandez on loan.
Real are one of the richest sides in the world, and only needed to look down the back of a Bernabeu sofa to gather the funds for Falcao’s transfer, but as the striker’s father revealed, they simply decided to opt against the move (via ESPN.co.uk):
Things did not work out with Real Madrid because… if you have money and you go to the market to buy a shirt or trousers, you must decide if you will buy them or not. Those at Real Madrid decided not to do it, and there was nothing else to do.
I do not know, it gives me the feeling that they wanted the player to give himself away with a set of conditions and things. Things did not happen because, as I said, they decided to buy the trousers and shirt they wanted, thinking them the best.
Madrid’s loss certainly looks like being United’s gain. In Falcao, they’ve landed one of the most lethal strikers in the world game.
He’s the kind of asset that you’d hate to play against but would love to have at your disposal, and while the striker is hardly an essential signing for a front-heavy side like United, he’ll undoubtedly make a big impact.
Former England and Manchester United star Michael Owen agrees, saying that while other areas of the squad were in need of improvement, Falcao could be a sensation at Old Trafford:
The Falcao deal still not sunk in. That was the last position United needed to strengthen. Still, he is awesome and it could be a great deal— michael owen (@themichaelowen) September 1, 2014
United host newly promoted Queens Park Rangers on Sept. 14 when the Premier League returns, and manager Louis van Gaal will name a new-look side for the encounter, with Falcao spearheading the changes.
One of the club’s front line will likely make way for the explosive Colombian, but captain Wayne Rooney said—via the club’s official Twitter feed—that he’s delighted with the capture of Falcao and labelled it a “show of intent” by the club:
Rooney will likely be deployed just behind Falcao this season, and with Angel Di Maria, Robin van Persie and Juan Mata also in red, it doesn’t look like goals will be hard to come by for Van Gaal’s side.
Come the end of the campaign, all of Falcao’s previous suitors could be forced to live with the regret of not putting their hands in their pockets, while United’s quest to return to the top of the English game gathers pace.