Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has been hit with a backlash of criticisms following his decision to leave Radamel Falcao out of the squad to face Southampton at the weekend, a match that the Red Devils lost 1-0.
Chief amongst the cries of discontent was former Premier League star Faustino Asprilla’s Twitter rant, with the Colombian claiming that Falcao was the only reason to watch United. Asprilla also compared Van Gaal to Sloth from the Goonies, as well as suggesting that his compatriot is a tiger trapped in a cage at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal explained in response to questions that Falcao was left out due to tactical reasons. Even so it looks as though this campaign may be his one and only season in English football - at least for the time being.
The Colombia international hasn't touched down with nearly the aplomb many expected him to given his fine scoring record for the likes of FC Porto, Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco. Injuries certainly haven't helped his situation but it could be argued that he's failed to adjust to the Premier League all the same.
As such he may well return to Ligue 1 without making his United move permanent. Clubs like Real Madrid are thought to be interested as a result, but the forward will have to prove he still has the midas touch if any sort of deal is to materialise.
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Meanwhile in transfer talk the general consensus is that United are close to completing a deal for La Liga defender Aymeric Laporte, who was a boyhood fan of the former Premier League champions. A supposed move for Mats Hummels appears to have stalled, but United are confident they can get a deal for Laporte competed this month.
The Athletic Bilbao youngster is just 21 but has plenty of experience under his belt, and Van Gaal's tried and tested method of giving youth a chance may well play out in his favour. The current go-to trio of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans have done little to inspire confidence, with United's defensive record having suffered as a result.