The departure of James Rodriguez to Real Madrid posed questions over the project at AS Monaco. Then Radamel Falcao’s return and goal against Arsenal opened up the transfer rumours again. Liverpool and Manchester City have been heavily linked with the Colombian striker, but vice-president and general manager Vadim Vasilyev confirmed to L’Equipe today that Falcao would not be leaving the Monegasque club this season.
Vasilyev revealed that he had obviously spoken to the staff at Real Madrid multiple times over the last few weeks and the name of Falcao had never been mentioned once. He said this was not part of negotiations and that the club were counting on him this season.
He said that Falcao was happy to get back playing with his teammates again after returning from his serious knee injury. Vasilyev also touched on the troubles that Falcao had during his first season, and added that a new page had been turned and with the new boss Leandro Jardim, he hoped this would be a much better season.
After buying Falcao, James and Joao Moutinho for over €120 million last summer, Monaco have been very quiet this summer, only Tiemoué Bakayoko, signing from Rennes for €6 million is a new face at the club, but the vice-president revealed that this season has been a planned slowdown of the Monaco project.
He said everything went too quickly last year, but they had to act fast to become competitive in Ligue 1. Now they won’t just spend money because they are Monaco.
The club has come under criticism because they have failed to build upon the success of last season by not strengthening and now not replacing James in the creative side of midfield.
Monaco only have five players in the squad that have played in the Champions League previously, and they will struggle to compete on all four levels this season.
Vasilyev then said they were not able to follow the paths taken by the projects at PSG and Real Madrid, and even that of Spanish champions Atletico Madrid. Commenting that Atleti had 60,000 home fans to build the success off, Monaco average around 10,000 a game, with a city that has a population of only 30,000.
This is a much different project, a project that needs stability. That starts with the club holding on to Falcao for this season at least, but you have to wonder if they could resist a blockbuster bid from one of Europe’s bigger clubs.