Manchester United are still open to the idea of signing Radamel Falcao on a permanent basis but have told the striker he must improve in the final stretch of the season, reports The Telegraph.
Reports in France suggested that Louis van Gaal had already decided to send Falcao back to Monaco at the end of the season. The £265,000-a-week star has scored just four goals in 20 Premier League appearances this season, even failing to impress against Yeovil and Preston North End in the FA Cup.
The club would have to pay Monaco £43.2million to secure his signature on a permanent basis; a price he has obviously failed to justify thus far. However, Van Gaal still has an open mind with regards to Falcao and has told him his future at the club is far from decided.
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Jorge Mendes, the agent of Falcao and a seemingly ever-present figure at Old Trafford, has urged Manchester United officials to make a final decision before the end of the season so he can work on getting his client out of the Ligue 1 club.
Falcao, 29, has been unimpressive for the Red Devils, but is still drawing interest from La Liga and Serie A. The player himself is also keen to know where his long-term future lies sooner rather than later.
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Van Gaal rejected the chance to sign Falcao permanently last summer, according to the same report, instead paying Monaco £6million to take him on a season-long loan. Having barely recovered from a serious knee injury, it has turned out to be a wise decision.
The Colombia international still seems to be struggling for full fitness and has certainly lost a yard of pace since his days of potent goal-scoring at Atletico Madrid. However, commercially, Falcao is still very valuable and a return to his best could be just around the corner.
A final chance
Robin van Persie looks set to miss the next three weeks with ankle ligament damage, giving Falcao his best chance yet to rekindle his past form. Despite another unimpressive display against Sunderland, Falcao is expected to play a prominent role in Wednesday's game against Newcastle United.
After that Manchester United will face ten Premier League games and at least one more FA Cup tie against Arsenal next Monday. Should Falcao impress then there is every chance Manchester United could begin talks over a permanent deal.
Should Manchester United pay £43.2million for Radamel Falcao even if he finishes the season with a flourish? Tell us your views in the comments box below!