Arsenal are free to sign AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, should manager Arsene Wenger give the green light, after European champions Real Madrid pulled out of the race to sign the Colombia international.
Spanish radio station Cadena COPE understand that Real Madrid are not interested in signing Falcao - and this, according to the Metro, means that Arsenal boss Wenger can now complete a deal for the world-class number nine if sees fit to bring the South American forward to the Emirates Stadium.
Wenger: Falcao out of Arsenal's price range
Wenger was specifically asked about the possibility of signing Falcao in his post-match press conference, following the 1-0 victory over Besiktas, on Wednesday night. The veteran Gunners’ boss insisted that the Colombia was out of Arsenal’s price range, though, and also admitted that the club might not sign another striker - even though Olivier Giroud could be out until January with an ankle injury.
Wenger is under pressure to sign another goalscorer after news broke that Giroud had undergone surgery, but the French coach made the point that Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell are all capable of playing as the team’s most advanced forward.
None of the aforementioned players could be classed as out-and-out natural strikers, however, unlike Falcao, who is reportedly open to joining the Gunners for the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign.
Falcao would cost £20m to sign - on loan
Arsenal would need to be pay a £20 million fee to sign Falcao on a season-long loan deal. The Colombian is currently valued at £35 million, but Monaco would be reluctant to accept such a fee for a permanent transfer after shelling out £51 million for the striker in May 2013.
It’s believed that Falcao - who has also been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool in recent weeks - is unhappy at AS Monaco and that Real Madrid was his preferred destination. Los Blancos president Florentino Perez is certainly a fan of the former Atletico Madrid striker, but the La Liga giants may have reversed their decision to pursue Falcao after handing France international Karim Benzema a new five-year contract extension earlier this month.
Situation between Falcao-Real Madrid could change
Benzema’s recent form has been less than impressive, however, and Cadena COPE add that the situation could change now that Real Madrid have recouped some significant cash on the sales of Angel di Maria to Manchester United and, to a lesser extent, Xabi Alonso to Bayern Munich.
But, with three days remaining before the transfer window slams shut, Arsenal have an excellent opportunity to land one of the world’s most clinical strikers.