Marotta rules out Juventus bid for Falcao

It had been claimed that the Bianconeri were hoping to take the Monaco forward on loan but the Italian champions will not make any more high-profile signings this summer

Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta has seemingly ruled out a bid for Radamel Falcao.

The Bianconeri have been heavily linked with a loan move for the Monaco forward, who is reportedly unsettled at the Stade Louis II, with Leonardo Jardim’s men having lost their first two games of the new Ligue 1 season.

However, Marotta has explained that while Juventus could sign another attacker before the close of the summer transfer window, they will not bring in a big-name player.

“We’re lacking a forward, a second striker in a compartment that already gives us many certainties, but it will not be a [player with] a major profile,” the Juve director told Sky Sport Italia.

“We will not make big investments. But [one player] could arrive in the final hours of the window.”

It has also been reported that Juventus are considering a move for Benfica captain Luisao but Marotta insists that they are not interested in the centre-back either, as he feels that the Italian champions are well stocked in defence.

“We have never contacted the player,” he declared. “But this is the world of football.

“[Andrea] Barzagli is recovering quicker than expected [from injury] and [Luca] Marrone has shown himself to be comfortable in defence, so we could stay like this.”

Juventus kick off the defence of their Serie A title with a trip to Verona to take on Chievo on August 30.

Mangala, Falcao, James and the stars Porto have sold for big money

The Portuguese giants have developed a very successful and rewarding transfer policy, buying talents for low fees and selling them on for large profits

By Will Martin

Porto head to France on Wednesday to face off against Lille in the first leg of a clash to determine who will progress to the Champions League group stage.

The Portuguese side have faced a few months of change and upheaval, with a new coach, Julen Lopetegui, coming in, and a rapid turnover of players.

Over the past few years, Porto have become notable for signing players for relatively low fees, developing them for a few seasons, and then selling them at a significantly increased price – although much of the money involved has frequently gone to third-party owners of certain stars, meaning Porto rarely pocket all the profit themselves.

This trend continued over the summer, with defender Eliaquim Mangala, signed from Belgian side Standard Liege in 2011 for €6.5 million, sold to English champions Manchester City for a reported €53m.

Here, Goal looks at eight Porto players who have left in big-money moves, and how their careers have fared since leaving Portugal.

James | The Colombian joined Real Madrid this summer after initially switching to MonacoJames Rodriguez – bought for €5.1m, sold for €45m

Colombia star James, the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner, moved to Monaco in the summer of 2013, on a five-year deal having signed for Porto from Banfield three years earlier for close to €8m. The youngster went on to make 38 appearances for the Ligue 1 side, scoring 10 goals.

Following a World Cup in which he scored six times, including the goal of the tournament, the 23-year-old secured a second big-money move in as many seasons, leaving Monaco to sign for Champions League winners Real Madrid for a fee of around €80m.

Radamel Falcao – bought for €5.5m, sold for €40m

Falcao joined Porto from River in 2009, but after three seasons – in which he scored 72 goals for the Portuguese giants – ‘el Tigre’ moved to current Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

At Atleti, he was almost as prolific, scoring 52 goals in 68 league games before moving, like James, to Monaco in 2013.

Falcao enjoyed a good start to his career in France, before suffering a severe knee injury in January 2014, causing him to miss nearly five months of the French season, as well as Colombia’s hugely successful World Cup campaign.

Hulk – bought for €19m, sold for €55m

Brazilian attacker Hulk spent four hugely successful seasons in Portugal following a move from Japanese side Tokyo Verdy.

In the summer of 2012, he made the move to Russia, signing for Zenit St Petersburg and has since enjoyed two moderately-successful seasons, securing consecutive second-placed league finishes and ending last term as Zenit’s top scorer under the tutelage of former Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas.

Pepe – bought for €2m, sold for €30m

Signed from Maritimo, Pepe spent three years with Porto before moving to Real Madrid in 2007. At Real, he has established himself as one of European football’s most feared defenders, but also one of its most controversial figures.

Famed for his disciplinary problems, the 31-year-old has been sent off four times for the Spanish giants and courted further controversy at this summer’s World Cup when he saw red for a headbutt on Germany forward Thomas Muller.

Joao Moutinho – bought for €11m, sold for €25m

Having enjoyed 11 years with Porto’s fierce rivals Sporting, central midfielder Moutinho spend three good years with Porto before moving with James Rodriguez to Monaco in 2013.

A dynamic and creative midfielder, the 71 times-capped Portugal international used his first season to firmly establish himself as one of Ligue 1′s most impressive players, helping his side to a second-placed finish.

Ricardo Quaresma – bought for €6m, sold for €24.6m

Quaresma, like Moutinho, started his career at Sporting, playing for the Lisbon side and Barcelona before signing for Porto in 2004. He would play 114 league games for them before securing an ill-fated move to Inter in 2008.

Leaving San Siro in 2010, Quaresma had spells at Chelsea, Besiktas and Dubai side Al Ahli, before returning to Porto in January 2014.

Falcao | The striker led an exodus from Porto to Monaco
Ricardo Carvalho – youth academy, sold for €30m

A Porto player from the age of 19, Carvalho was part of the side that won the 2004 Champions League under Jose Mourinho’s expert eye. When Mourinho moved to Chelsea the following summer, Carvalho was quick to follow the coach.

At Chelsea, he established himself as one of the world’s best defenders, making 135 league appearances for the Blues.

A move to Real Madrid followed in 2010. He spent three years in the Spanish capital, and now plies his trade, like many of the players on this list, at Monaco.

Anderson – bought for €7m, sold for €30m

The only true flop on this list, Brazilian midfielder Anderson moved to Porto from Gremio in 2006.

After just one season at the Dragao, Sir Alex Ferguson saw fit to spend an estimated €30m to bring him to Manchester United.

His time at Old Trafford has not been a happy one. He has struggled with weight problems and has made just over 100 appearances in seven years with the Red Devils, failing to live up to his potential.

Following an unsuccessful loan spell with Fiorentina last season, Anderson is back with United, although he is seen as surplus to requirements by new boss Louis van Gaal and is expected to depart before the end of the transfer window.

Liverpool eyeing star striker, says Rodgers

The departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona leaves the Reds with only two out-and-out centre forwards, though the manager admits that it is difficult to land a “top-level” candidate

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says the Premier League club intend to pursue a big-name striker until the transfer window closes.

Monaco sharpshooter Radamel Falcao and Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani have both been linked to the Reds, who are on the lookout for a replacement for €88 million Barcelona signing Luis Suarez.

New recruit Rickie Lambert and Daniel Sturridge are the only two recognised strikers at Anfield and the Liverpool boss is determined to land a leading centre forward, even if it means deadline-day madness on September 1.

“The money is there – and we will look to improve at the top end of the field until the very end of the window,” Rodgers told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener against Southampton at Anfield.

“It’s not easy to get a top-level striker, no, but we have to keep looking. We certainly need something because we haven’t brought in another striker so far, apart from Rickie Lambert.

“You just never know what will happen in that last week – the window will always throw up something.

“We will persevere and the boys are working hard behind the scenes to see what information we can get on the availability of players.”

Liverpool also secured the services of young striker Divock Origi this summer but the Belgium international will remain on loan at Lille for the 2014-15 season.

Monaco 1-2 Lorient: Falcao makes goalscoring return in defeat

The Colombian striker netted from the penalty spot to cancel out Vincent Aboubakar’s first half goal, only for Valentin Lavigne to restore the visitors’ lead

Radamel Falcao marked his return to competitive action by scoring a penalty for 10-man Monaco in a 2-1 defeat to Lorient on Sunday.

The Colombia international striker suffered a serious knee injury in January that saw him miss the remainder of the Ligue 1 season as well as his country’s World Cup campaign in Brazil.

After featuring for Monaco in pre-season – scoring the only goal in a 1-0 success over Arsenal in the Emirates Cup – Falcao played in a competitive match for the first time in seven months when Leonardo Jardim introduced him from the bench as a 59th-minute substitute for Lucas Ocampos at Stade Louis II.

The 28-year-old clinically converted a spot-kick 12 minutes from time to level the scores at 1-1, only to see the visitors snatch all three points with a breakaway goal from Valentin Lavigne in the 87th minute.

Lorient had gone ahead in the ninth minute after Aymen Abdennour’s foul on Vincent Aboubakar allowed the striker to coolly tuck home from 12 yards.

Monaco then lost Ricardo Carvalho to a second yellow card in the 68th minute before Falcao‘s goalscoring return was overshadowed by Lavigne‘s sucker punch.

Damaged goods: Why Falcao would be a gamble for Real Marid

COMMENT: The Colombia international is still being linked with Los Blancos – but is he worth the risk in light of the serious knee injury he sustained earlier this year?

By Robin Bairner

The rumours persist. Radamel Falcao is wanted by a string of elite clubs, according to the press, who have linked the Monaco forward with Manchester City, Liverpool and, in particular, Real Madrid. Yet if the Colombia star was to make a summer move, it would represent a huge gamble for the buying club.

In January, the 28-year-old suffered an injury that dramatically altered the course of his career. His knee ligaments were seriously damaged during a Coupe de France match against Chasselay, leaving the striker to fight a hopeless battle to be fit for the World Cup – the event that should have been his crowning glory.

His move to Monaco was meant to be a pit stop before a switch back to Madrid, a necessary stepping stone to allow him to transition to the Bernabeu without breaking an agreement made to former employers Atletico Madrid. After his knee problems, it seems that he may well be marooned on the rocky principality on France’s Mediterranean Coast.

For Monaco, an asset of the notoriety of Falcao cannot be lightly parted with. After James Rodriguez’s move to Madrid, they need the Colombia striker both for his quality and for the prestige that he brings their project.

The magnitude of James’ move to the Spanish capital is another telling factor. It is estimated that the playmaker’s transfer, which was a deal that the Monegasques did not want to make, was valued at €80 million – going a long way to ensure that Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations will be met by the Stade Louis II side, who have cutback dramatically on their spending this summer.

And while there is no obligation for Monaco to sell, there is little likelihood of Falcao departing for a knockdown price. He was bought for €60 million and surely cannot be sold at this stage for anything less than that figure.

A year ago, Falcao guaranteed goals, and while he made his mark by scoring on his return to action against Arsenal in the Emirates Cup, there are questions hanging over his ability to remain prolific for the first time since he established himself as a starter at River Plate.

His time in Monaco last term was, by his illustrious standards, rather modest. It had been expected that he would decimate Ligue 1 defences, but prior to his injury he was enduring his worst season since moving to Europe. True, he still found the net at a rate of more than a goal every other game, but he did not look like the Falcao who so terrorised La Liga with Atleti mere months earlier.

Same as he ever was? | Doubts remain over the lasting effect of Falcao’s knee injuryAnd then came the injury, which was of the variety perhaps most serious to any professional football. Of course, some, such as Alan Shearer, have successfully overcome such problems to remain fearsome until late in their careers, but there are others who have been forced to endure lengthy battles with such a problem.

Ronaldo, for example, managed only seven minutes of football between serious knee problems, restricting him to only 17 outings between November 1999 and mid-2000. Thereafter, he may have regained the World Player of the Year award in 2002, but he was never quite the player so devastating in the pre-injury phase of his career.

It would be a tremendous gamble for a club to take to stake €60m or more on Falcao enjoying such a spectacular comeback, particularly off the back of a relatively mediocre campaign. Madrid have already tied Karim Benzema to a new contract, indicating their priorities lie in stability.

Starting on Sunday, when Monaco open the season against Lorient at Stade Louis II, the onus is now on the striker to prove that the last six months have been a simple blip in an otherwise formidable career.  If he can comeback strongly, perhaps Madrid or Manchester awaits next summer.

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