Manchester United star Radamel Falcao has confirmed that he could have joined Real Madrid this summer, but opted for Old Trafford because he believed the move would give him the best possible chance of succeeding.
In an interview with FourFourTwo, the Colombian international reiterated that the former Premier League champions had been following him for “months”, but also made it clear that he could have joined Los Blancos this summer had he wanted to.
Falcao made the switch to United on a season-long loan worth an estimated £12 million in salary and fees paid to Monaco, becoming perhaps the most illustrious signing of Louis van Gaal’s first transfer window at the Old Trafford helm. However it might not have been had Madrid had their way, with Florentino Perez and Co. having attempted to muscle their way into the fray.
“Yes, other clubs like Real Madrid were interested, but I wanted to go to Manchester. It is a great club, with a great history and one that fills me with a lot of hope that I can succeed there,” he said.
"There were moments where I didn't think the transfer would occur in time - something that was stressful to me - but in the end it worked out. Like I said, this is a great opportunity for me, especially after my injury.”
Falcao at United
The free-scoring forward, who has garnered a reputation as one of the most prolific strikers in world football, will likely make his debut this weekend as United take on newly-promoted QPR at home. Falcao is expected to start alongside fellow summer arrivals Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo, with Angel Di Maria having already made his Old Trafford bow against Burnley before the international break.
Whether or not Falcao will hit the ground running remains to be seen, as he’s struggled greatly with injury over the past year. Prior to his switch to Monaco the 28-year-old was routinely terrorising defences for Atletico Madrid, but his time in Ligue 1 didn’t produce nearly such fruitful results.
The Madrid rejection
What’s most interesting with Falcao’s situation is his decision to turn down a move to the Santiago Bernabeu in favour of United. Though the Red Devils were reportedly happy to pay Falcao handsome wages in order to convince him to make the switch, they can’t promise him Champions League football, and Madrid were said to be keen to sign another striker before the extension of Karim Benzema’s contract.
Instead Madrid moved to capture Javier Hernandez on loan for the season, with the United ace in-turn desperate to secure more game-time. The Mexican striker may not have the dazzling C.V which Falcao boasts but he does have a proven track record at scoring goals when coming off of the bench, and that could well have been an overriding factor in Carlo Ancelotti’s decision making.
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