Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao would've preferred to join Real Madrid last year and sacrificed "many things" by moving to Old Trafford on a season-long loan deal, that's according to Colombian football legend Faustino Asprilla.
The 28-year-old talisman joined the Red Devils on a temporary deal from AS Monaco on summer transfer deadline day after the Premier League giants agreed to pay the Ligue 1 club £6 million up front and offered the player around £265,000-a-week in wages that will cost them a whopping £24 million in total, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
However, the big-money gamble doesn't look to have paid off as Falcao has struggled for fitness and form, managing to contribute just three goals in 13 appearances for his parent club in 2014/15, making it look increasingly unlikely that Manchester United will take up the option to make the deal permanent at the end of the campaign.
Louis van Gaal appears to have lost patience with the Colombia international after dropping him completely from the 18-man matchday squad that lost 1-0 to Southampton in the Premier League last weekend, fuelling rumours of a breakdown in the relationship between Falcao and the Dutch coach.
Asprilla is unsurprised about rumours of an alleged fallout after heavily criticising the Iron Tulip's man-management skills, pointing to previous incidents of arguments with other high-profile players during spells at Van Gaal's former clubs.
"I never had Van Gaal as a coach but if we look his career he is a person who always had problems with footballers and especially with the stars of the team," he explained in an interview with the International Business Times.
"At Barcelona [it] already happened with Riquelme and Rivaldo. It is weird that always happens with the South American players."
Asked about Van Gaal's motivation behind the surprise deal for Falcao - who only recovered from a long-term cruciate knee ligament injury in pre-season - the former Newcastle United striker stated his belief that the former FC Porto and Atletico Madrid man was never really on his list of targets and the acquisition was a knee-jerk reaction as the transfer deadline loomed.
"I think van Gaal just signed Falcao because someone told him on the very last day he was available and everybody would sign Falcao.
"I think he [Falcao] was waiting until the very last minute to join Real Madrid" - Faustino Asprilla
"Falcao joined them because he wanted to play and thrive again but he sacrificed many things. A player of his class can not go on loan to a club. United should have paid for him."
With regards to the constant speculation linking Falcao with a move to Real Madrid, the 45-year-old hinted that the South American would've in fact favoured a return to La Liga had Carlo Ancelotti firmed up his interest in bringing the Manchester United misfit to the Santiago Bernabeu.
"I don't speak with Falcao about transfers but I think he was waiting until the very last minute to join Real Madrid because president Florentino Perez made him that promise.
"He felt betrayed by them because during two years they tried to brainwash him over a move to Real, then at the last minute [the] chance to join United appeared and everybody wants to play for a club like them."