Robbie Savage on whether Manchester United should sign Radamel Falcao on a permanent contract

BBC pundit Robbie Savage believes that Manchester United should sign Radamel Falcao on a permanent contract at the end of the season.

Former Leicester City and Derby County midfielder Robbie Savage has told BBC Sport that Manchester United should retain the services of Radamel Falcao.

Colombia international striker Falcao joined the Red Devils on a season-long loan deal from AS Monaco in the summer transfer window.

Much was expected of the 28-year-old when he moved to the Premier League, but the former Atletico Madrid star has struggled with injuries and fitness issues.

Falcao has been able to make only 12 league appearances so far this season, scoring three goals and creating 10 chances in the process.

The former FC Porto striker has a pass accuracy of 86% and a shot accuracy of 65%, but Savage believes that United will not sign him on a permanent deal at the end of the season.

However, the 40-year-old former Wales international is of the opinion that Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal should keep him in his squad for next season.

“He is expensive - his wages are £265,000 a week and turning his loan into a permanent move would cost United £43.5m in the summer,” Savage told BBC Sport.

“His injury record and fitness is a concern but I would still keep him because, if he has got over the serious knee injury he suffered in January last year, he is undoubtedly a world-class striker.

“I don't think United will sign him though - the writing was on the wall when he was left out of the squad for Sunday's defeat by Southampton, which I thought was the wrong decision.

“He needs to play regularly - if he does that he will produce. If he doesn't play week in, week out, there is no point signing him permanently.”

When fit, Falcao is a world-class striker and his all-round game for United has been encouraging, but he has been struggling for fitness in recent weeks.

At 28, the Colombian is probably at his peak, and for him to get a permanent contract at United, he needs to make the most of the chances he gets.

Although Falcao is not guaranteed starts, he is going to get playing time as the season progresses, and he needs to use them to maximum effect.

If the former River Plate striker starts banging in the goals regularly and gets his confidence back, then he could prove to be very important in United’s chances of a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch