Radamel Falcao's hopes of joining Valencia this summer are now hanging by a thread after Manchester City informed the Spanish giants they have an obligation to sign Alvaro Negredo in a £24 million deal.
The Daily Telegraph reports that UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations will almost certainly prevent Los Che from securing the permanent signatures of both strikers during the forthcoming transfer window, and that is bad news for the Manchester United marksman who is understood to have had his heart set on a move to the Mestalla.
Falcao is coming towards the end of a disappointing season-long loan spell at Old Trafford where he has contributed just four goals in 24 appearances in all competitions.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is unlikely to take up the option to sign the Colombia international permanently in a whopping £43.2 million deal, which means the 29-year-old is expected to return to his parent club AS Monaco.
The former FC Porto and Atletico Madrid talisman is not expected to stay at Stade Louis II for long, though, and has been heavily linked with a return to La Liga for the 2015/16 campaign.
Valencia owner Peter Lim is thought to be keen on the idea of bringing Falcao back to Spain, but after it emerged that Negredo has reached the required number of games for Nuno Espirito Santo's side to earn himself a permanent transfer it could put pay to those plans for the South American.
The Citizens loanee has struggled to maintain fitness and form since linking up with the club back in August, and the Singapore billionaire was ready to send the player back to the Etihad Stadium.
However, the former Spain international has triggered the performances clauses that were agreed at the start of the season, meaning Valencia are likely to be lumbered with an out-of-sorts star that has managed just five goals in 27 appearances in all competitions this term.
Their decision to bring Negredo in after he suffered a broken metatarsal injury with City in pre-season was initially questioned by some supporters, but even more so after his return to action was delayed until October 25 which prevented him from completing a full 90 minutes of football until the middle of November.
Of course, Falcao has not exactly been setting the world alight with his performances at the Theatre of Dreams either, but given how much success he's previously enjoyed playing in the Primera Division he probably represented a better transfer option in the eyes of most Valencianistes.
The only possible workaround is if Valencia can agree a loan deal similar to the one that Manchester United negotiated with Monaco, although the Ligue 1 club will prefer to sell the player permanently to raise funds that can be reinvested into their own squad.
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