Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has sensationally revealed that he turned down the chance to sign two of Manchester United’s 2014 summer signings: Angel di Maria, the most expensive player in British football history, and Radamel Falcao.
The revered Portuguese coach shares the same agent as the two South Americans: Jorge Mendes, who informed Mourinho that his two clients were on the lookout for new clubs last August.
But, despite the tempting offer, Mourinho turned down the chance to sign the players due to potential Financial Fair Play implications.
Mourinho reveals Di Maria & Falcao snub
"Jorge told me Di Maria and Falcao are his players and he has to find solutions for them," Mourinho is quoted by The Sun as saying in the book ‘The Key to Mendes’.
"But if Chelsea doesn't have the financial capacity to pay eight, nine or ten million euros a year, because of [financial] fair play, of course Mendes has to think about his players.
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"We couldn't bring Falcao or Di Maria because I didn't want to, either. I can't have a player earning 10 million when others earn three, four or five. That would have caused an explosion."
As well as costing £59.7 million to sign from Real Madrid, Di Maria is also costing Manchester United a reported £280,000-a-week in wages at Old Trafford.
Falcao, meanwhile, was signed on a season-long loan deal from AS Monaco. It’s understood the Colombia international is currently earning anything up to an astronomical £346,000-a-week with the Red Devils.
Mourinho made the right call?
Mourinho’s decision is currently on course to be justified. Chelsea boast a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table and have scored more goals than any other team in England’s top flight.
Manchester United trail Mourinho’s side by 12 points - and neither Di Maria nor Falcao have hit top gear since arriving in England.
Di Maria has shown glimpses of his brilliant best - but only glimpses - while Falcao, having scored three goals in 13 appearances, have been a disastrous signing so far.
Diego Costa outshining ex-teammate Falcao
Manchester United are still deciding whether or not to turn Falcao’s loan into a permanent deal - but unless his form improves between now and May it seems certain that the player will return to AS Monaco this summer.
Instead of signing Falcao, Mourinho opted for Atletico Madrid’s Brazil-born Spain international Diego Costa, who has been a revelation at Stamford Bridge.
The 26-year-old has scored 17 goals in 19 Premier League appearances this term - and is currently favourite to win the 2014/15 Golden Boot award.