Manchester United pulled off quite the coup on transfer deadline day as they secured the services of European football’s most prolific frontmen – Radamel Falcao.
Goal-laden spells at Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco saw football’s leading clubs falling over themselves to put a deal in place once it became apparent towards the end of the summer that the Colombian may be available.
It was to be United who put a season-long loan in place, with there the option for a permanent agreement to be pushed through in 2015 – which could end up costing the Old Trafford money men a reported £43.5 million.
Things could have been very different, though, had the reigning Italian champions got their way.
Juventus were also in the Falcao hunt, as they sought to bolster an attacking unit which already includes Carlos Tevez, Alvaro Marota and Fernando Llorente, but they were pipped to the post as the riches of the Premier League won out over the appeal of Serie A.
Bianconeri director Giuseppe Marotta told La Domenica Sportiva on Rai TV: “We were very close to Falcao, as the player wanted to experience Italy and our jersey.
“However, then Manchester United stepped forward and they have more spending power, so the deal fell apart.”
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Juventus may not be cursing their luck just yet, with Falcao still to fire on all cylinders in England.
He is working his way back to full match sharpness following a serious knee injury which brought a premature end to his 2013/14 campaign and dashed his World Cup dream.
Falcao has managed just one goal for United in five appearances and missed a crunch clash with Chelsea on Sunday after picking up another knock.
Maybe being forced to look elsewhere will ultimately work in Juventus’ favour, or maybe there will be another opportunity to pursue a long-standing target next summer if United opt against splashing the cash on a man who still has much convincing to do.