Manchester United star Radamel Falcao came extremely close to snubbing the Red Devils in favour of a move to Real Madrid his summer, according journalist Tancredi Palmeri.
The outspoken broadcaster and all-round transfer busybody told Spanish television show El Chiringuito (as translated by Le 10 Sport) that an agreement between Falcao and Madrid was in place, and all the contract required was the Colombian’s signature to be finalised.
Of course Falcao eventually ended up with Louis van Gaal’s United, having moved there on a season-long loan from Monaco. According to Palmeri this was because of Madrid’s reluctance to play ball with his late wage demands, thought to be around €14million-a-year.
“Between Real Madrid and AS Monaco, there was a contract signed,” he revealed.
“This contract was worth a 10million loan fee for a year and then €30million so he would stay there. It is not very different from what was signed with Manchester United, although there offer was €14million for the loan. This contract, it just lacked the signature of the player. Everyone thought it would be easy but, in fact, Falcao wanted to have €14million gross per year, while Real Madrid only offered him ten. Manchester United won the bet with € 17million.”
Falcao at United
And so it was that Falcao eventually agreed terms with United, moving in a somewhat surprising deal to Old Trafford. Despite having yet to score under Van Gaal his arrival has been met with widespread celebration by the fans, and his reputation sees expectations high for his overall haul this term.
Under Van Gaal he faces strong competition for a place from the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, and so his place is far from guaranteed. With that in mind it could be that he ends up returning to Monaco rather than moving permanently to the Premier League, which could re-open the case file with regards to Madrid buying him.
Falcao to Real
Los Blancos have long coveted a frontman with Falcao’s instincts, and with Florentino Perez’s millions one would anticipate them having the money to be able to fund a permanent acquisition next summer if the situation concerning their interest remains the same.
As recently as this week Karim Benzema was being hotly tipped to be sold to either Liverpool or Arsenal, regardless of the fact that he has only just penned an extension on his current deal at the club. If the France international does go then Falcao will duly find himself a top target, having already proven himself lethal in Spain with Madrid’s arch rivals Atletico.
The near future
For now it seems as though the 28-year-old is more than happy to pledge his future to United, having already expressed his joy at making the switch to Manchester. He may have come close to signing for Madrid but that was before they rejected his wage demands.
The fact remains that Palmeri is claiming Perez and Co. could have had him if they had really wanted him, but it shouldn’t bother United fans any. They’ve got a world-class striker for the season and, if they can qualify for the Champions League, may well have him for much longer.