Radamel Falcao has been linked with a move to the Premier League consistently over the last few months, and with Atletico's fragile financial state becoming clear Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City could get their man
As the transfer deadline day furore rumbled in that far-gone season we call summer with players arriving at training grounds, city hospitals and private plane landing strips to be greeted by a reporter surrounded by half-cut youths wanting to meet their newest idol a more stunning story was forming in Monaco. A principality with more than its fair share of knowledge over private planes itself was playing host to a royal humbling of Europe’s best club by the upstart winners of the Champions League’s plucky cousin.
Atletico Madrid were tearing Chelsea apart and one man in particular finally began to receive the credit he had deserved for years. He smashed home the goals under the guidance of Andre Villas-Boas at Porto, where he truly developed his game, giving a hint of irony to the fact he was so unceremoniously giving Chelsea the run-a-round.
He has again been firing on all cylinders the following season with Atletico, the Europa League king, seemingly has goals in his blood. Reminiscent of Gabriel Batistuta in his Fiorentina plomp he put it away with his left, right, head, backside whatever it takes to get the ball in the net, to make it ripple.
His name blew up; Falcao trended on twitter and suddenly every elite football fan across the continent demanded answers; ‘’Why is he not playing for us?’’
Fair question but immediately after the game Falcao made it clear he had no intention of leaving, he was happy, and the Premier League was not the Holy Grail to him as it was many other players.
Now that tact has changed, and to borrow a tired cliché ‘money makes the world go round’ seems to be the consistent reason.
Atletico, badly need a sale. They are reportedly behind on payments to Porto for Falcao’s original signature and owe the Spanish treasury €115 million that has seen them fall foul of Uefa’s financial fair play rules.
This season has so far seen Los Colchoneros keep pace with Barcelona in La Liga, leaving city-rivals Real trailing in their wake. With genuine aspirations of Champions League football the idea of losing out due to financial irregularities would hurt the club. With Spain’s tax-man also going through an unforgiving stage the sale of Falcao is becoming inevitable.
The last time Atletico got themselves into such a sticky financial situation they found themselves relegated after a poor season, playing in Segunda Division for two years, which saw the emergence of Fernando Torres at the Vicente Calderon. Their current situation could see the Colombian striker joining El Nino at Stamford Bridge.
But who else will move for him? Arsenal, Manchester City or anyone else?
image: © chilangoco