Monaco's vice-president has spoken out on Radamel Falcao's stunning loan move to Manchester United.
The Ligue 1 side's decision to loan a world class striker they paid £55 million for one season ago appears bemusing from the outside, and Vladim Vasilyev has done his best to explain it from their perspective.
Speaking to L'Equipe, he was keen to stress there was no original plan to allow the Colombian to leave so early into his contract with the club.
"A farewell to Falcao had already been planned last year? If he went to Real Madrid that could be a correct theory, but it is not the case.
"Whether he would go was a guess, but certainly not planned. I understand the discontent of the fans, but this is football, especially if there is an offer and the player wants to leave.
"I'm not happy to this, but when he asks him to leave, we cannot just hold him.
"We should be proud that our players go to clubs like that, we're still not at that level."
His words show how fortunate United were to land Falcao, as if Monaco had taken a more determined stance they could have kept the striker.
Falcao is fortunate his agent is one of the master negotiators in world football in Jorge Mendes, who also represents his new United teammate Angel di Maria.