Radamel Falcao is still struggling with the after effects of the knee injury which put him out of the World Cup - and his future at Manchester United could be in doubt because of that.
The Colombian joined the Red Devils on loan on transfer deadline day. It was reported at the time that they paid a £6 million loan fee to Monaco in order to secure his services, plus wages up to an eye-watering £285,000-per-week.
Manchester United have the option of making the move permanent at the end of the season for a fee of around £43 million, but reports surfaced last week that they may be shying away from doing just that. His knee problems were the main reason behind the deal not being a permanent transfer in the first place, and the fact he still seems to be managing the injury is likely to set alarm bells ringing in the corridors of power at Old Trafford.
The Guardian report that Falcao is being forced to ice his knee before and after every training session and match in order to reduce swelling - something which is said to have surprised his new Manchester United team-mates.
Falcao has missed their last three games because of an unrelated calf problem, and his injury-prone nature is likely to cause boss Louis van Gaal a major headache. He injured his anterior cruciate ligament back in January which kept him out until August - his third major knee injury of his career.
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At the time of his comeback he admitted the injury was still playing on his mind. "Because of the injury I felt so nervous. Almost like it was my first time with the national team," he said after making his comeback for Colombia against Brazil at the end of the summer.
"And I expect it will be the same before I play my first game for Manchester United. I’m so happy to be back, and I am also happy about being able to join United. Physically I feel spectacular. I have been able to play without any kind of trouble.”
The bad news continued for Falcao when Van Gaal admitted his first-team options may be limited because of a tactical switch. When fit, the Colombian has played as part of a two-man partnership with Robin van Persie, however Van Gaal now prefers a one man attack to shore up his side defensively.
"The problem for Falcao is that the balance of the team is more important than the individual," he said. "It is not his fault and not because of his performances.
"With the other system I could play with two strikers but then the balance wasn't good and we had difficulties in the last half-hour of games. Since then we have scored fewer goals but conceded less and we have played the better teams [Chelsea and Manchester City] on an equal level, more or less."
Given that Falcao has scored just one goal, has struggled with injuries and is managing his knee problem, there is a real chance his Manchester United dream may turn into a nightmare.
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