Radamel Falcao to Real Madrid is off. That’s according to AS Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev, who has made it clear that the star striker is not for sale this summer.
‘We count on him and believe he will have a great season in 2014-2015’, Sky Sports quotes him as saying on Thursday.
Falcao joined Monaco from Atletico Madrid last summer for a transfer fee reported to be €60 million. The Ligue 1 outfit probably overpaid for the 28-year-old, but what came as a surprise was the fact that the Colombian had joined a newly-promoted French top-flight club after four successful years at Porto and Atletico.
Just as with Sergio Aguero, it was reported in the Spanish media that Falcao was going to return to the Spanish capital to play for Real Madrid after a year – Atletico would never sell him to their city-rivals directly so Monaco was going to the stopgap.
To keep the narrative going, it was reported last month that Madrid have reignited their interest in the Colombian, but now their hopes of acquiring one of the most lethal strikers in the world have been dashed by Vasilyev’s stance that he is not for sale.
Madrid have enough attacking players in their squad; in their ‘BBC’ – Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo – they have arguably the most potent attacking trio on the planet.
Yet, the 10-time European champions always have the need to sign an attacking player every summer, and they have yet to make such a ‘Galacticos’ signing. Falcao was said to be their big recruit, but as it stands, he is not going to arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Which leaves the possibility of Madrid going back for Luis Suarez. True, Liverpool and Barcelona are reportedly in discussions over the transfer of the striker to Camp Nou, but that does not mean that Los Blancos are not going to try to ‘hijack’ the deal for the Uruguayan striker.
In the past, both Barca and Madrid have signed players they did not need just so the other club are unable to recruit them.
However, given Suarez’s conduct at the World Cup and his four-month ban from all football-related activities, Madrid are unlikely to splash out loads of money.
No move for Falcao could also have implications for Arsenal. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly looking for a top-class striker, and Madrid star Benzema has been mentioned as one of his transfer targets.
And even if some doubts remain, it now appears very likely that Madrid will step up in their negotiations to keep hold of the 26-year-old they signed from Lyon back in 2009.
Another Madrid striker who Arsenal have been linked with is Alvaro Morata. Latest reports from Italy suggest that the 21-year-old Spaniard wants to move to Serie A champions Juventus, but it could well be that Madrid will now try harder to convince him to remain at the Bernabeu. After all, they would want to have a strong substitutes’ bench for next season’s quest to win trophies.