Why French reports of Manchester United striker swap attempt are improbable

Radamel Falcao

Reports in France are suggesting that Manchester United would like to swap Radamel Falcao for PSG's Edinson Cavani.

In Wednesday morning’s print edition of L’Equipe, the French newspaper has suggested that Manchester United will take the option to sign Radamel Falcao on a permanent deal from AS Monaco, but only in order to swap the Colombian with Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan, Edinson Cavani.

This is the stuff of gossip column dreams. You have three of European football's biggest name clubs and two of world football’s elite strikers all involved in the one story.

However, when you break down the deal, it makes very little sense, and it would be a bizarre situation if it all came through.

In the same edition of L’Equipe, they also reveal that it is being reported that one of either Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Cavani will not remain at the Parc des Princes next season. A story which ties in nicely with their swap story.

In the original deal that saw Falcao arrive at Old Trafford, the mooted sell-on fee would be around £43.5 million, or €59 million. Roughly the same fee that PSG spent on Cavani two summers ago. With Falcao soon turning 30, and Cavani 27, it is unlikely that either striker should be valued at that level.

That figure seems even more ridiculous when you consider the form of both strikers. Falcao has struggled to cope with the rigours of Premier League football, with Louis van Gaal even dropping the Colombian for the game against Southampton.

This season, in both the league and FA Cup, Falcao has played 754 minutes and has only scored three goals. Finding the net every 251 minutes does not justify spending over £40 million. If PSG are looking for a new striker to replace either Ibrahimovic or Cavani, going with someone about to turn 30 years old does not make any sense, either in a football way, or a business sense.

There is absolutely no reason, especially after his time struggling in Ligue 1, that PSG should even consider a deal that would take Falcao to Paris.

Manchester United’s interest would be understandable; Cavani has scored six goals in the Champions League and eight in Ligue 1 this season. It is not quite up to the same level he managed in his first season, or his final season at Napoli when he scored 29 league goals, but at one goal every 144 minutes, he is still very productive.

If Cavani does want to leave, BT Sport claims that PSG are more interested in suggesting a swap deal with Juventus for Paul Pogba. That deal would benefit the French club more because any swap deal including a deteriorating Falcao doesn’t make any sense from the French champions.

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