Radamel Falcao is considering potential options away from Manchester United as rumours emerge that some at the club are concerned about the player’s long-term fitness, per Fichajes.net (h/t Jack Watson of Squawka).
The Colombian forward has only found the back of the net on two occasions since he signed for the Red Devils on loan from Monaco in the summer, but his playing time has admittedly been somewhat limited due to injuries. Falcao has looked like a class act whenever he’s donned the red jersey, though, as noted by writer Luke Moore.
The truth is that it was always going to take Falcao a while to rediscover his best form. The Colombian tore his cruciate ligaments at the start of the year, and it takes players a long time to recover from those kinds of serious injury layoffs.
Truth be told, some players are never quite the same again.
In the aftermath of the Red Devils’ 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, a match in which Falcao scored a fine equaliser, United boss Louis van Gaal insisted that it’s also up to the player’s team-mates to help him rediscover his scoring touch.
Falcao is also dependable on his team-mates. He can be in great form, but the team has to be in great form. That allows Falcao to show his qualities.
When the cross is not coming from Ashley Young, then he cannot show what he has done in the last match [at Villa].
As noted by David Anderson of the Daily Mirror, the former Atletico Madrid man has insisted he is willing to stick around at Old Trafford, and the club have an option to make the deal for the forward permanent for a fee of £43.2 million.
Scott of Republik of Mancunia is clearly not getting his hopes up:
At his very best, Falcao is a player worth that kind of money. There are few better out-and-out poachers in world football. With that in mind, you suspect the prospect of a deal being made permanent will ultimately rest on whether the Colombian can stay in the team and score goals in the second half of the campaign.
Rumours have also emerged suggesting that United's No. 9 could be joined by Real Madrid's Gareth Bale in the January window. According to Fichajes.net (h/t Jamie Sanderson of Metro), the Welshman is keen on a move back to the Premier League in a transfer that would amount to a world-record £120 million fee.
Here's a look at what Bale could potentially add to this United side:
Many will argue that kind of money could be better utilised in other areas of the squad, like in midfield and defence.
Kevin Strootman of AS Roma, the Italian club's midfield anchor, is a player who has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Bleacher Report’s Sam Tighe assesses the chances of a January deal:
Another player who could potentially be on the club’s radar is Yohan Cabaye.
Reports by tuttomercatoweb (h/t Ashley Birch of Squawka) suggest Tottenham Hotspur are willing to bring the 29-year-old back to the Premier League. Birch mentions in his piece that United, Arsenal and Liverpool are also monitoring the situation.
Cabaye has struggled to make an impression for Paris Saint-Germain this season, and given the class he showcased in the Premier League, he is a sensible target for English clubs. Former player Stan Collymore has long been an advocate of Cabaye potentially moving to Old Trafford:
However, at this juncture, he’s not the kind of player Van Gaal needs.
The former Newcastle United man is a classy midfielder who shone in an advanced role in the Premier League, but United need a player in the Strootman mould to add legs and defensive steel to what is an offensively loaded set of midfield options.
The club could also invest that money into the club’s academy talent. Somewhat worryingly for a team that prides itself on this part of the game, up to six of the Red Devils’ finest youngsters are free to sign a pre-contract with a different club in January with contracts expiring at the end of the season, per James Dickenson of the Daily Express.
Young stars like James Wilson, Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett—youngsters who have all featured regularly under the tutelage of Van Gaal—have looked very promising in their recent displays in the first team, and it’s vital the Red Devils continue to mould young players as well as splashing the cash on superstars like Falcao and potentially Bale.