Manchester United want to make sure Radamel Falcao can prove his long-term fitness before they consent to paying £52 million to make his move from AS Monaco permanent.
According to the Daily Mirror the powers that be at Old Trafford remain understandably sceptical over Falcao’s ability to fire them back into title contention based on the impact he’s had so far, and his progress will be closely monitored in the next two months before a final decision is made.
The Colombia star, who made his name as a lethal goalscorer at Atletico Madrid, having been equally impressive at Porto, joined the Red Devils on a season-long loan worth £6 million.
Though he missed out on the World Cup thanks to a cruciate ligament injury sustained in January, United still took a gamble, and he managed to pass an extensive medical before putting pen to paper.
Since then however he’s failed to cause as much of a stir in the Premier League as his hefty price-tag might suggest, and having netted just the once - albeit the winning goal in the clash with Everton - there’s certain precautions United need to take.
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Options up top
Louis van Gaal will be aware of the talent he has at his disposal when Falcao is fit, but getting him into a shape wherein he can consistently play games is proving more difficult than perhaps was expected.
On top of that the Dutchman has a big decision to make when it comes to who he wants to lead his line moving forward. Fan favourite Wayne Rooney was handed the captain’s armband prior to the start of the season, virtually assuring that he’s in Van Gaal’s primary plans for the long-term future, but Robin van Persie is creeping towards the twilight of his career, and Falcao isn’t too far behind.
With the latter point in mind, particularly given his past - which has been riddled by injury problems - Van Gaal might opt to spend his money elsewhere.
With the new Financial Fair Play rules in place £52 million, which is supposedly what it would take to seal a permanent deal for Falcao, is a lot, and there’s plenty of fans who would rather see their manager prioritise the signing of a world-class centre-back.