Manchester United were yesterday linked with a sensational switch for Radamel Falcao, so how should they go about trying to finance such a deal?
United are not renowned for splashing the sort of mega-money in the region of £50 million that would be required for his signature, and would likely have to sell to buy.
So instead of complicating the process and involving another club(s), why not speed it up and make it more practical by offering players to Atletico Madrid instead?
Here are five players they could try to tempt them with to bring down Atletico's asking price...
Hernandez would be by far the most attractive proposition for Atletico, with rumoured last month that the club are interested in signing him as a replacement for Falcao. The Mexican is a prolific striker whose opportunities have been limited this season due to the arrival of Robin van Persie. The transfer of Falcao would limit these further, to the point that an exit would be inevitable. At Atletico, Hernandez could be the main man and re-energise his career, and hope to replicate the success Diego Forlan enjoyed in La Liga.
Anderson is a midfielder who has failed to build on his huge potential, partly through injury and partly via his own intermittent form. He recently commented that the only clubs he would like to play for other than United were Real Madrid or Barcelona, although he will surely admit that Atletico would not be a bad option. His style of play may suit La Liga, and he could prosper as many South American previously have done at the Vicente Calderon.
If United can persuade Atletico to take Nani they will have pulled off a masterful piece of negotiating. The winger has been disappointing for the past two seasons and has just one year left on his contract. United could save themselves around £15 million on Falcao's price tag by throwing him into the mix, and the player may also decide that Atletico is not a bad option at all.
The biggest letdown of United's season, mainly due to his superb showing last campaign, Valencia may be an option to part-exchange if the Red Devils are unable to shift any of the aforementioned attacking trio. Valencia would likely thrive at United again if he had Falcao to deliver crosses to, so it may be counterproductive to sell him, but if it becomes a decision between keeping the Ecuadorian or signing Falcao then it is no contest.
Atletico Madrid have been relying on the generosity of Chelsea loaning them Thibaut Courtois to fill the goalkeeping position for the past two seasons, but if they decide to sell Falcao to United, they may just find Chelsea to be not so willing to renew the loan for a third year. So United could help them out by sending them Danish international Anders Lindegaard who has proved himself a reliable performer, and one who could flourish if given a run of games in Spain.
All of the above?
image: © elhormiguerotv