Louis van Gaal is not convinced by Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, who has failed to impress the Manchester United manager in training since arriving on a season-long loan from AS Monaco in September.
This is according to The Sun’s Manchester football correspondent, Neil Custis. who also told talkSPORT’s Kick Off programme that United have no desire to pay the £43 million Monaco are demanding to sign the player on a permanent contract at the end of the season.
Man United 'will not' sign Falcao at £43m
“If you ask Manchester United now to pay £43m for him, they’re not going to,” Custis said. “If you knock £23m off then you might think about it, but not £43m or £280,000 per week.”
The high-profile journalist, who believes United panicked before agreeing to sign Falcao on loan, went on to reveal that Van Gaal has been left particularly disappointed by the South American striker’s training ground performances.
And Custis hinted that Falcao’s displays at the Aon Training Complex have deteriorated since he was left out of Manchester United’s 18-man squad for the 1-0 defeat to Southampton earlier this month.
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Custis: Van Gaal disappointed with Falcao
“I know from early on Louis van Gaal didn’t like the look of him [Falcao] in training and he hasn’t liked the look of him since he was left out of the squad for the Southampton game.”
Falcao, who turns 29 next month, has only scored three goals in 14 appearances this season - and missed several good chances to add to his tally against Queens Park Rangers last weekend.
Is Falcao finished?
The forward is still attempting to rediscover his best form following last year’s eight-month injury lay-off, which kept him out of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
But, barring the odd glimpse, Falcao has looked a shadow of the world-class striker who lit up La Liga and the Europa League with Atletico Madrid between 2011 and 2013.
Custis says that if he was in Van Gaal’s shoes, he would leave Falcao out of United’s starting line-up in favour of teenage striker James Wilson.
“He is not at the races,” he added on Falcao. “If I was in charge I would play James Wilson and give him a run, because that is an exciting player with speed, who can tear through defences. I’d love to see him get a run with [Robin] Van Persie.”
Falcao is expected to start for United in tonight’s FA Cup fourth round clash against Cambridge United - but failure to score will only increase the pressure on his already weighted-down shoulders.