Manchester United may have been able to secure the signature of Radamel Falcao only on transfer deadline day, but manager Louis van Gaal has said that he has admired the striker for years.
The 28-year-old Colombia international striker joined the Red Devils on a season-long loan deal from AS Monaco in a transfer that took many by surprise.
For much of the summer, it looked as if the former Atletico Madrid star was going to remain at the Ligue 1 club, but things changed in the final days of the transfer window.
Real Madrid were linked with an interest in Falcao and so were Juventus, but on the eve of the final day of the window Premier League champions Manchester City emerged as the favourites.
But then on deadline day morning, United went to the front of the queue and eventually wrapped up the loan deal after being granted a two-hour extension.
It was all dramatic stuff, but Van Gaal insists that he has always admired the former FC Porto striker and knew how good he is before signing him.
‘He is a player I have always admired’, the Dutchman told MUTV. ‘I liked him when he played for Atletico Madrid and saw him scoring goals in finals.
‘After that I saw him this year when the Dutch national team played Colombia and he made a wonderful impression again on me.
‘I know him and I know his record which is very promising. I’m very happy that we could sign him on the last day of the transfer window’.
Falcao is a genuinely world-class striker, regarded by many as one of the best finishers in the world. He has fully recovered from a long-term knee injury that forced him to miss the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and now looks ready to guide United to Premier League success.