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What To Make Of Falcao Rumours?

One of the more surprising rumours of last week was that Radamel Falcao is set to join Manchester United, as was reported in the Spanish press. Alberto R. Barbero, writing for Marca, claimed that “sources close to both parties suggest that a down payment may have already been made as a guarantee for a future transfer.” Sky Sports Spanish football expert, Guillem Balague, supported this claim on Twitter, saying United had “paid an advance as they did with de Gea”. Ballague claims that this payment, a deposit, is to ensure that Falcao’s third party owners have guarantees that we are interested. He also claims this fee is refundable and that if United aren’t successful in signing the player, they will be reimbursed, and that a similar deal was put in place when we signed David de Gea from Atletico Madrid.

Sir Alex Ferguson was asked about the rumours during his Friday press conference and as you would expect, whether we were in talks with Atletico Madrid or not, he dismissed the story. “Do you honestly believe that?” he said. “Really? It does amaze me that you come up with that one.”

In January 2010, De Gea’s agent at the time, Hector Rincon, claimed that United were interested in signing him. “I didn’t talk with Ferguson but an intermediary of Manchester confirmed there’s real interest in De Gea,” he said.

In September of that year Ferguson missed our League Cup game against Scunthorpe, the third time he was absent for a match during his career at Old Trafford, to watch Atletico Madrid play Valencia, our next opponents in the Champions League. It was a convenient excuse for a scouting mission.

The following April, after more stories appeared in the papers linking us to De Gea, and Spanish radio station Onda Cero claimed that United had a €20m bid accepted, Rincon confirmed that he had held talks with United, but that no agreement had been made between the clubs yet. “Well, we did have talks with Manchester United but, first of all, they always look for an agreement with the club,” he said.

Two weeks later Ferguson dismissed the story out of hand when asked about the agent’s claims. “On Italian television I am supposed to be signing two players from Italy tonight, so I can place that story along with those,” he said. “There is always speculation about who we are going to sign. So many people throw names at me. I can’t answer it.” On the same day, Atletico general manager confirmed that United (and Chelsea) had put in a bid.

A few days later United scout and Ferguson’s brother, Martin, went to watch Atletico Madrid play Barcelona. Three weeks later David Gill confirmed, without naming the player, that the club had a goalkeeper in mind and they were confident of signing him. Then, less than two weeks later, Ferguson confirmed that an agreement had been put in place. “We’ve been working on it for quite a while, we identified him a while back as one we should go for,” he said. “He’s an outstanding replacement for Edwin van der Sar.” There were just six weeks between Ferguson dismissing the story and confirming that a deal had been put in place.

It was over a month before De Gea completed his medical and signed a contract though, after delays partly explained by the keeper changing his agent to Jorge Mendes, who brokered the deal. He was also responsible for the transfers of Ronaldo, Nani, Anderson and Bebe to United.

Whilst the prospect of United meeting Falcao’s £45-£50m release clause seems unlikely, even if we do include Javier Hernandez to decrease the amount of cash we’d have to pay out, it is interesting to note that the Colombian’s agent is… Jorge Mendes.

Chelsea do seem the most likely destination for him though and Falcao has spoken in the press several times about his desire to play for them, particularly when his former boss Andre Villas-Boas had the job at Stamford Bridge. His father revealed last September that Chelsea were the dream club. “Ever since he was a boy he has loved Chelsea and has always thought it would be an honour to play for a big Premier League team,” he said. It’s an interesting thought, as you don’t imagine many kids in Colombia supporting a midtable team in England. However, two days later his father changed his tune slightly. “His dream is to play for Real Madrid,” he claimed. “Since he was a boy he’s always wanted to play there.”

We should take this to mean that when Falcao was a boy he dreamed of playing football for a big club who could compete for trophies, whether that’s Real Madrid, Chelsea… or us.

Chelsea will also have FFP to consider. They will be happy to include Fernando Torres in the deal, just as we would Chicharito, even though Atletico reportedly want a cash only transfer. Their biggest problem will be complying with FFP though after recording their first profit in the Abramovich era last year. They made £1.4m last year, the same amount as Burnley, so will be in trouble if they drop another £50m on a striker.

New Premier League rules state that clubs can only lose £105m between 2013-2016 and that wages bills over £52m can only rise £4m per season if funded through TV cash. Clubs that breach the Premier League’s new wage increase controls and loss limits will face point deductions. If these rules had been in place over the past three years, Chelsea would be £32m over the allowance. Chelsea’s wage bill was £171m last year but there is the possibility of them having more money to play with to keep within the £4m rise if some players move on. Torres earns a reported £200,000-a-week whilst Frank Lampard earns £150,000-a-week. In contrast, whilst United don’t need to worry about complying with the Premier League rules, it’s the Glazers that restrict our spending. Our net spend over the past five years averages out at around £11m a season, meaning we would likely have to make a big sale if we were to splash the cash on Falcao. Wayne Rooney? 2+2=5? Time will tell…

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. slayer says:

    Saw this on FB page. Maybe some have seen it but well, I supposed there is no wrong to share them.

    If the Barclays Premier League was a classroom.

    1. LIVERPOOL is a child who is very proud of the academic achievements of his grandfather.

    2. MANCHESTER UNITED is a boy who just performs in the final exams and tops the class.

    3. MANCHESTER CITY is a spoiled child who spends money on expensive books but is never interested in reading them.

    4. ARSENAL is a boy who used to be top of the class but dropped down because he had to sell his books due to financial problems. He tries hard but fails to come out on top.

    5. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR is a girl who gets decent marks on 1 specific subject. She always finishes behind Arsenal.

    6. CHELSEA is a boy who fails and blames his teachers then his family finds a new teacher for him every year.

  2. Lee Martins Winner says:

    Even if this rumour is total bullshit, I would love to see falcao in a United shirt. One of the top 5 finishers in European football IMO.

    Say we do sell Rooney. I am not happy about this idea, but I will not be crying either. We get 40 million plus. Then its a net £10 million spend, not even taking into consideration the little pea swap. Now i love our little mexican, a great box type finisher. I have to admit, his all around game is improving, but falcao is an upgrade.

    if we lose little pea and rooney, bring in the classy columbian, that will leave us with RVP, Falcoa and welbeck. With Angelo and will keane being the understudies…. I would take that. it gives Angelo and Will keane oppotunties, I cant see these same oppotunities for them if we keep our current four strikers.

    Falcao is United class and I would welcome the lad with open arms. I want the best player at United, for me RVP n Falcao……… Fucking Scary! even if it is all bollocks!

  3. Hans says:

    If it is true that Rooney is off to Paris, than it makes sense to bring someone even better to replace him!

    I would credit these rumours to various agents trying to get better deals for their clients!

  4. denton davey says:

    Wayne @ 15:32: “my point is why bother experimenting,go out and buy a ready made world class midfielder,i don’t get the point of moving Rooney back there”

    I think that you’re making two assumptions that don’t work in practice:

    first, which “ready made world class midfielder” would you think UTD can get ? I don’t think that Bayern are interested in selling Schweini or Javi Martinez; Juve won’t sell Marchisio; PSG don’t need to sell Verrati or Matuidi, De Rossi is now “too old”, etc., etc. The guys who are mooted – Strootman, Wanyama, and now Matic (or Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund) – aren’t “ready made world class midfielders”. Maybe they could work out and grow into that kind of player but they’re just suspects, not prospects.

    Second, in my view it’s all about making the optimum use of “assets”. Not the maximum use of any one player since they all have to fit into a team scheme. In this regard, TheWayneBoy’s flexibility is a huge asset (as it were); he might not be best-suited to playing alongside MC16 in midfield but he’s going to be a better partner for Carrick than YoungTom while providing an opening for talents like Welbeck and Kagawa and Chicharito to play with RVP.

    Most of all, this change would allow UTD’s best attacking players to be on the pitch together rather than having some of them on the bench while second-raters like this year’s version of the man formerly known as AV7, Ashley [ahem !] Young, the disappearing act known as Nani, and the extremely inconsistent Ryan Giggs all get game-time at the expense of Welbeck and Kagawa and Chicharito.

    I’m in two minds about SAF’s rotation policy – it makes sense in terms of keeping the squad “fresh” but it means that UTD don’t play their best players all the time. ACMilan didn’t rotate when they had that great team in the mid-noughties, Barcelona – the best club-team of the past five/six years – don’t rotate their best players, Bayern rarely rotate their first-team players, and Mourinho always rides his best players. Are UTD’s best players injured more often than these other team’s best players – or is SAF ” hoisting himself with his own petard” ? It sure looks like UTD’s rotation policy is the odd-man-out.

  5. DiegoForlanDK says:

    We are NOT spending that kind of money in our strongest area on the pitch. We bought RvP last season, much to the surprise of most of us. I just can’t see us buying him. We’ve got, what, some 70 goals in the league so far – thats plenty of fire power. We need to look at our defense or midfield, depending on what kind of player we’re turning Phil Jones in to.

    Mats Hummels from Dortmund is a player I’d like to see join us, but he’s definitely on the radar elsewhere and won’t be gotten easily. Otherwise, Jores Okore from F.C Nordsjælland is an exiciting prospect. He’s not yet good enough to be a starter, like Hummels, but he’s got real potential. Immense strength, good with his feet and extremely fast.

  6. Costas says:


    I agree on Anderson. He had his chances and now that the season is coming to an end, could we really say that we’ve seen much progress from him? From a playing or fitness standpoint? And it’s really sad because potentially, he’s the answer to Fletcher’s absence. But I’ve stopped expecting much from him. The midfield is really starting to worry me because every year, we seemingly need more reinforcements. And now that has spread over to the wings as well.


    Well, I definitely wouldn’t put his case down to any kind of game of fate. My opinion about him now is the same it was a year ago: He deserved the spot in the squad more than Anderson. We didn’t want to pay more than what he thought he deserved, but we pay Ando a lot more to do very little each season.

    But even more than Pogba playing elsewhere, it hurts me that we lost Hargreaves and Fletcher like we did. Those two would have been a huge part of Fergie’s plans to this day.

  7. Lee Martins Winner says:


    Interesting points re the midfield problem and Rooney.

    While I agree with you in respect of going out and buying a worldclass midfielder, the options available and the “suspects” being touted, I see Rooney in midfield as a project. One which given time could really work. On paper it should, he hs some real attributes to play there. Range of passing, workrate, bravery, not slow, power and e can be creative. not to mention a good long shot and would score goals arriing late into the box. like a said on paper, could make a very good centre mid.

    However, there are some concerns. ones which will only be answered, if he and SAF commit 100% to the project in terms of training, development and a run of games. Which is a gamble with a 40 million rated striker.His positional play, his knowledge of playing CM and curbing his natural tendancy to attack all the time. Also does he want to move to midfield?

    Its something which I and others have said for a while, rooney to CM. I would love to see what happens if they really tried it!

  8. mill says:

    Would be worth a gamble on Falcao.
    It was also a gamble buying RvP
    which paid off.

  9. denton davey says:

    Lee Martins Winner @ 20:58: ” I would love to see what happens if they really tried it!”

    I’d love to see them really try it.

  10. denton davey says:

    Why am I not surprised ?

    FA doing nothing about Aguero’s two-footed attack on SideShowBob; FA doing nothing about Chris Foy missed a stonewall penalty when Kompany wrestled TheLadyBoy in the last few minutes of yesterday’s match.

    C’mon Wigan !

  11. mara says:

    1. If Falcao is a true story, then we are selling Rooney…
    2. He is great striker…but we need midplayers more than him. Real Madrid has good midfield, so they can have poor strikers likeBenzema…we have good strikers, so we dont need some extra class up front. We need for that money two world class players in the middle. Or one winger, and CM/playmaker.
    3. And that s it…but i already see, we will buy one or two defenders and striker…
    4. And i think we need more class on the wing…

  12. mara says:

    And one more thing…i really like Rooney. He is one of the best strikers in the history of foofball for me. Very few that are ready to play for a team….but my opinion is that he has no motivation in United any more…it s just over…maybe i’m wrong and i would like to be wrong about that

  13. samuel - united WE stand says:

    I’m baffled as to why any rumours links to rooney leaving, any concrete proof or yet more unsubstantial waffling.

  14. Marq says:


    Well, theres no better time to try Rooney in CM than now, with Rvp going for the golden boot, Hernandez deserving games, Clev & Ando unreliable and the league within grasp. So its the perfect extended opportunity to give Rooney a run beside Carrick and see

  15. NBI Red Onion says:

    We need a MF as close to the Toure mould as we can get. None of our MF can beat a man and make runs other than Ando and he is a poor man’s Toure. Ando needs to move on, he has had his chance, can’t see him staying, we need a MF with these qualities:

    - strength in the tackle and in keeping players off the ball, excellent reading of the game, brave and imposing
    - can pass with two feet and find a dissecting forward pass
    - has pace and can run with the ball and take on players which keeps the other team on their toes
    - can shoot and add goals from MF
    - preferably good dead ball ability

    Hargreaves had all these qualities. Fletcher did not, but he was tenacious and made the best out of his ability to become a good defensive mid.

    Rooney is best as lead striker in and around the box. Can’t see Rooney staying at OT. There are better strikers out there, he is nowhere near good enough in MF as his defensive reading of the game is poor, teams walk through our MF like water when he plays, he has good range and vision in MF but that does not help when you can’t get the ball. Also his touch is not great and under pressure from teams with a strong MF and attach, he will not have time on the ball like he did against Stoke. Rooney has great final third vision as a striker, he has no ability to beat a man or dribble past anyone.

    Rooney and Falcao are the same age. Would I swap Rooney on this years form for Falcao? – yes, on pure footballing merit Falcao has been much better that Rooney this season. Rooney has 2 years on his contract, can’t see the Club giving him the same deal. His form is also less and less consistent, it’s a gamble to see how he is for next year. New Club, playing as a striker all the time, that may be better for his career. Can we gamble on Rooney staying fit and sharp and starting the season well? If we get Falcao, why gamble.

  16. lordrt says:

    looks like rooney is set for a 25m deal to psg?? got this news from various sources around the web, and if nani is included the deal goes up to 40m… so this falcao rumour could be true in the end, 40m to fund his move, or else lewandowski in and another player, with the falcao move being only a smokescreen for the media to feed on

  17. Brisbanefan says:

    Just a few thoughts on the transfer window in the summer.
    The Chevrolet deal starts next season. The amount of money they’re prepared to invest in the club is immense, with no clear indication of how the money is to be apportioned. I don’t think GM would spend all that money on a team to win the EPL – I believe they want UTD to build a team good enough to win the CL year after year.
    The press are saying that UTD will get about £57m a year. I think UTD may get an initial payment of say £100m, which together with Fergie’s normal transfer figure of £30m and proceeds from the sale of outgoing players would give Fergie a huge transfer kitty.
    So spending £50m plus on one player is not unreasonable nor unaffordable.
    Fergie could go on a spending spree that would leave City and Chelsea floundering. The rumours in the press may not be far from the truth. Another CB, 2 quality MFs, a winger, and another striker may be recruited. whilst up to 6 existing players could be offloaded.
    Neither GM nor Nike – if a new deal is struck with them – are going to give UTD a huge amount of money that would disappear into the Glazers’ bank account.
    I expect these two sponsors to insist that their money is spent on team improvement, leading to the winning of the CL.

  18. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Morning reds. Still getting my head around the Boston Bombing. ‘What if’ scenarios for football are just too immense.

  19. Marq says:

    Yea, especially as we are owned by Americans, I would think United could be a prime target. Hope they step up the security

  20. wayne says:

    Samuel what’s baffling about it that’s the news that’s out there and the rumors have been going on for a lot longer than Falcao to Utd that STR thought was important enough to do a thread about.So I’m baffled why you’re baffled about why I’d supply links about a Utd player

  21. TheCANTONA says:

    lordrt says:

    looks like rooney is set for a 25m deal to psg?? got this news from various sources around the web, and if nani is included the deal goes up to 40m… so this falcao rumour could be true in the end, 40m to fund his move, or else lewandowski in and another player, with the falcao move being only a smokescreen for the media to feed on

    rooney for 25 mil? bollocks to that mate!! we bought him for 27 mil why on earth we sold him for lower price to fuckin psg? if torres was worth 50 mil then i cant see rooney’s worth less than 60 mil

  22. Heywood Red says:

    You can find a news story linking any big name player to different clubs on the web.
    Doesn’t mean its true. These ‘reliable’ sources are normally an agent angling for another
    Payday or a club trying to instigate the player being unsettled. Look at the papers, if you actually
    Wrote down every tranfer they put in there from a ‘reliable source’ players would be at 5 clubs at once

  23. TheCANTONA says:

    falcao is tempting, who wouldnt excited to see him in united shirt? but i agree with most people here, solving our midfield problem is first priority, then adressing our wingers (whether we want to sell them or find way how to use them better) after that we might talk about signing falcao.

  24. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Wayne – my words wasn’t targeting you, it’s just irritating too see these money grabbers from PSG tap up united players, all these project bollocks. As much as some do not personally like rooney, he’s still been the most important player at united, he has lost his way at times but at worst, the lad gives his all on the pitch. People.bang on about falcao and currently the colombian is in cracking form but rooney has bern far more consistent throughout his career, he’s produced more than the colombian in.his career despite both being the same age.

    Rooney is now experienced player and fergie likes to surround his team with these type, rooney will be taking over from the likes of giggsy and scholes added with the fact there’s no way fergie would want to strenghten another oil drilling rival for the champions league.

    Another issue that annoys me is those that try to degrade rooney’s career and ability by claiming “He hasn’t fufilled his potential”. What potential? What, to drag an hapless england team to world domination? Don’t make me laugh. Rooney has accomplished more and produced more than most in their careers, his game has evolved ftom that lung bursting player running after everything into a more refined, ruthless centre forward, the lad scores or creates, even the season which he maybe hasn’t hit his standards, he’s still had impact. Rooney is a pure all round footballer, one able to apply himself adequately to any role he’s given on the pitch, these type of players are rare and i think on this shores, the lad is not revered as much as he is around the world.

    I’m not saying he’s perfect, his form can deviate at times but he’s got quality and also, despite being a scouser, rooney knows what it takes to be a manchester united player. I think he’s here to stay and won’t suprise me if he nabs a new deal.

  25. wayne says:

    samuel fair enough mate,i’m thinking it’ll go the other way but who knows

  26. Red4ever says:

    I say we are saying we need a midfielder but are thinking that a player from another league wont be able to play well for us

    But I say why buy from another league what do u think about yohan cabaye played for france he runs newcastles midfield he could be a very good adittion to our squad ,,,,but no more stickers plzzzzz we need midfielders plzzzz fergie

  27. srd99 says:

    hopefully this is a load of nonsense,we dont need another striker!!..go out and spend decent money on an all action box to box midfielder..which is what we are in dire need of!

  28. foxinthebox says:

    Am tired of Rooney – Fergie keeps accommodating him after what he did. I doubt anyone would pay 30 Mil for him. He won’t fit into most of the top tier teams Including PSG and he doesn’t have “it” to take us to the next level. He is good but over-rated , definitely NOT in the top 10 footballers in Europe.
    If he wants to go , I say great.

    I vote NO for Falcao. at 27-28 years with an asking price of 40 Mil , no way. If he was available for 25 Mil it would be interesting. I’d rather we play RVP- Chicarito with Kagawa in a 4-3-3 diamond. Spend money on two midfielders like Javi Martinez (we can’t have him, but something similar) or Busquets or Alonso or Khedira or Fabregas (none are available I know), . Get a pseudo-striker who offers flexibility – Munian, Isco

  29. Markowire says:

    Falcao is a great player and things would get exciting if we got him. However I very much doubt this will happen. Firstly United would pay 40 million for him but the third party company is the show stopper. This rumor is most likely risen from Falcao’s reps. Everyone knows Chelsea, City, PSG, Real Madrid will be twitching at these rumors and start an early bidding war. The same happened with Hazard, and Moura. These players have only money in there minds not football. If its true he wants to join United then the lad will have made a great footballing decision.


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