Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United agree deadline day loan deal for Radamel Falcao

By Ian Herbert

Manchester United today agreed a sensational deadline day loan deal for Radamel Falcao, with the anticipated £9m outlay taking the cost of their desperate attempts to return to the top four to around £140m.

United have been tempted by the efforts of Falcao’s agent Jorge Mendes to tout the Monaco player around the Premier League, after prospects of the 28-year-old signing for Manchester City or Arsenal were all-but extinguished on Sunday.

The move for the Colombian, which also includes an option to make it permanent, is clearly an opportunistic, last-minute move by United. Sources at the top of Old Trafford indicated as late as Sunday afternoon that the prospect of further signings in this transfer window was unlikely - after a summer in which more than £130m has been invested in a squad rebuild. United’s Ander Herrera contributed to mouting speculation of a deadline day coup by following Falcao on Twitter.

United need central defensive and midfield reinforcements more than another striker. But United manager Louis van Gaal complained after the dismal goalless draw at Burnley on Saturday about Robin van Persie’s slow progress to full fitness. Some sources in Holland suggest that Van Persie now requires knee ligament surgery and that Van Gaal, who he developed a close relationship with in the Dutch national set-up, persuaded him to delay an operation until after the World Cup. That would be a reason to reason opportunistically to the offer of Falcao, whose deal to Real Madrid has fallen through.

Though City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain spent time at Monaco around the Champions League on Thursday discussing the offer of Falcao, which City received last week, the £20m cost of a loan move, let alone a £60m purchase, is almost certainly beyond the Premier League Champions. They will succeed in getting Micah Richards off the pay roll – the Englishman is heading on loan to Fiorentina – and both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are interested in Manuel Pellegrini’s fourth choice central defender Matija Nastasic.

His sale would bring in £10m. But there will not be any substantial deadline day income to enable City to sign Falcao, who Begiristain does like and would have signed last summer.

Negredo’s move to Valencia will only be a loan deal at a time when he is out with a broken foot, so money will only be recouped next summer when City would expect that to firm into a permanent deal. The striker is desperate to return to Spain.

Pellegrini complained on Monday night that he only had three strikers, with Negredo out injurewd. He also has worries about the recent injury history of Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic. But David Silva and Samir Nasri can both operate a No 10s, supporting a loan striker.

Source: Independent

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