According to the Manchester Evening News on Thursday, Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward are set for showdown talks this week to discuss if Colombian forward Radamel Falcao has a possible future at Manchester United.
Recently, it has looked very ominous for the striker on-loan from AS Monaco. He was given a short cameo appearance in the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on the back of an outing for the under-21s and a stay on the bench in the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Desperate for a goal against the Gunners, Falcao was not the option that Van Gaal called upon. That is a far cry from the dependence that both FC Porto and Atletico Madrid had in the centre-forward. The Dutch coach, speaking ahead of the crucial game against Liverpool on Sunday, did give Falcao a lifeline:
“We mustn’t forget the severe injury he suffered last year and how it kept him out for such a long period and resulted in him not having a good pre-season, which is always the catalyst for the campaign ahead,” he said.
“I believe he just needs a little time to build his confidence and match sharpness, and it won’t be long until he is showing everybody the talent that we all know he has.”
No one knows for sure if Van Gaal’s mind is made up already, and Falcao must do his best to take any further chances this season, starting on Sunday.
Before moving to England, despite his problems in France, the Colombian has a history of popping up with important goals in high pressure games. On Monaco’s first trip to the Parc des Princes it was Falcao that scored the equaliser that won the Monegasque side a point in Paris.
During his two years in Spain he scored five goals in games against Real Madrid and Barcelona, plus a UEFA Super Cup hat-trick against Chelsea.
His ability and mobility may have been hampered due to his terrible knee injury, but that won’t have taken away his big game mentality. With huge games against Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea to come, perhaps if Falcao could turn back the clock and find his way to goal, it could be enough to change Van Gaal’s mind.
Even if his fate is already decided and Manchester United opt against signing him this summer, his last few months at Old Trafford will go a long way to determining who his next club is.