Falcao appears to wave goodbye to Manchester United fans against Arsenal

The Colombian made a point of acknowledging the home support as he left the field on 61 minutes as he edges towards the end of his lucrative one-year loan from Monaco


Radamel Falcao has seemingly said his final farewell to Manchester United, waving to sections of the Old Trafford crowd as he was substituted against Arsenal.

The Colombian cut a frustrated figure as he left the field after another fruitless display but made a point of acknowledging the home fans before heading down the tunnel.

It is unclear whether Old Trafford rose to applaud Falcao’s efforts against Arsenal or the imminent arrival of Robin van Persie, who has struggled for form and fitness this season and could also leave this summer.

Falcao arrived at United on a lucrative one-year loan deal from Monaco last summer but has failed to make a significant impact this season, scoring just four goals in 29 appearances in all competitions.

United have an option to sign the 29-year-old for £43.5 million (€60m) this summer but are highly unlikely to exercise it.

Revealed: €15m per goal, €8m per assist – the true cost of Falcao & Di Maria

To date the two big-name summer arrivals have set Manchester United back the best part of €125 million, and given their decidedly meagre output the figures only get worse


By Sam Lee

As Manchester United gear up for another summer of big-spending ahead of a return to the Champions League, they will be acutely aware that the majority of last summer’s signings have hardly hit the ground running.

And the two headline arrivals, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, have struggled more than most. Di Maria, signed for a British transfer record €82.7 million, moved to Old Trafford having played a vital role in Real Madrid’s Champions League success in 2013-14 and Argentina’s run to last summer’s World Cup final.

There was much fanfare, too, when Falcao rocked up in Manchester on transfer deadline day, less than 48 hours after it had appeared he was on his way to Madrid.

But while things looked promising in their first handful of games, the form of each player has tailed off dramatically.

With both earning a whopping €416,000 per week, the following figures will make grim reading for United’s bean counters.

For Di Maria alone – considering the fee the Red Devils promised to pay Madrid, along with the 36 weeks’ worth of wages since he committed himself to Louis van Gaal’s revolution – United have so far paid out €97.7m. If he stays at Old Trafford for the full five years on his contract, he will take home €108m in basic salary alone.

But it has been a complicated season for the Argentine. He actually has 10 assists, the second highest tally of any Premier League player, but you get the sense that if he played with a cooller head he would have racked up far, far more.

His appearance from the bench against Liverpool at Anfield essentially summed up his debut season. He played a fine ball to Juan Mata for the Spaniard’s sublime bicycle kick, and in the final moments he made an intelligent pass to Daley Blind, who then earned a penalty. But, in truth, everything else he tried on that day went to waste – ill-advised dribbles, poor touches and overambitious passes. At one point he caught the ball in both arms before it had even gone out of play.

As it stands, those 10 Premier League assists have cost United €10.4m each. He has another one in the FA Cup, making it €8,884,128 per assist in all competitions. A fair old chunk for anybody’s money.

The headline figure, though, is when it comes to goals. Di Maria’s four in all competitions cash in at €24,433,000 each. In terms of league goals alone, that figure rises to €32.5m – even if that beautiful lob against Leicester City was worth its weight in gold.

United have paid 3,153,146 for each of his 31 appearances in all competitions, or €4,249,109 for each of his 23 starts. Per minute, it works out at €49,349.

He has fired off 39 shots in the Premier League, at a mere €2,505,751 each, and 18 of those have been on target, bringing the figure up to €5,427,659.

The Argentine, for all his struggles, has been creative in patches and has actually laid on 63 chances in total for team-mates, at €1,550,580 each. He has made a total of 839 passes, at €116,407 each, of which 654 were successful (€149,337). His probing has resulted in 164 passes into the final third (€595,396 each), and he boasts 458 successful passes in the opposition half (€213,194).

His 41 successful crosses, meanwhile, have set the club back €2,381,535 a pop.

For Falcao, the record loan signing, the figures are just as stark. Although there was no permanent transfer fee – he only set United back €8.3m in the shape of an up-front loan fee – he still commands a massive salary and to this day he has cost the club €23,266,085.

The ailing hitman has started just 13 games, working out at €1,789,698 each. Having not found the back of the net since January, the Colombian has scored just four times for United. That, staggeringly, is €5.8m per goal.

It is no surprise really, considering his shooting stats. His 29 efforts on goal represent 802,306 a go, and with just 16 on target that’s €1,453,838 each. In his last 13 league appearances, he has had a total of one shot on target.

Unfortunately, he has hardly been a creative force either.

In 28 total appearances, (€830,695 each), he has set up just 18 chances in all competitions, at a cost of €1,549,311 for every one. Having played 1435 minutes in all competitions (16,206 per minute), that is one chance created every 79 minutes.  In three FA Cup appearances, he has scored no goals and created no chances whatsover – against Yeovil Town, Cambridge United and Preston North End.

His total of 386 passes weigh in at €116,265 each, and the 330 successful passes bring that up to €149,142. In the opposition half he has made 236 successful passes (€98,498), and in the final third 104 of his passes have reached their target (€223,516). He has four assists, which, like his goals, also come to a remarkable €5.8m EACH.

Combined, Falcao and Di Maria have cost €120,796,718. That’s €3,097,380 per start, €8,056,299 per assist, and €15,105,561 per goal.

Manchester United could regret not signing Falcao – Andy Cole

The Colombian has failed to impress during his season-long loan deal at Old Trafford, but the former United striker is convinced his quality hasn’t faded


Manchester United could regret not signing Radamel Falcao this summer, according to Old Trafford legend Andy Cole.

Falcao has scored just six goals in 28 matches in all competitions since arriving at United on a lucrative one-year loan from Monaco last summer and failed to establish himself as a regular starter under Louis van Gaal.

The Colombian has not looked the same since suffering the serious knee injury that ruled him out of last summer’s World Cup in Brazil and it appears highly unlikely that United will exercise their €61 million option to sign him permanently.

But Cole, who scored 121 goals during a six-year spell with United, believes great goalscorers never lose their natural ability to find the net.

“I don’t know whether United will keep him. The powers that be are considering it,” Cole told reporters. ”If he doesn’t stay here next year and he goes somewhere else, he will score goals.

“You don’t stop scoring goals because you have an injury or whatever. It might take a little bit longer to recover from the injury but once you get injured it doesn’t mean you stop.

“He will score goals wherever. If he doesn’t stay here he will definitely do that.”

Fabregas should have been sent off – but not for his challenge on Sterling, says Mark Halsey

REFEREE’S COLUMN: Andre Marriner only cautioned the Spaniard for a poor challenge on the winger, while Manchester United’s second goal against Crystal Palace should not have stood


GOALBy Mark Halsey of You Are The Ref.com     Follow on Twitter

Brendan Rodgers was right – Cesc Fabregas should have been sent off at Stamford Bridge – but not for his challenge on Raheem Sterling inside the opening minute.

Fabregas crashed through the Liverpool winger and caught him badly on the ankle but Andre Marriner’s decision to caution the Chelsea midfielder was the right way to go.

Television replays can always exaggerate a challenge and while Fabregas’ was poor, it didn’t meet the criteria to warrant a sending off – he didn’t use excessive force and he wasn’t out of control of his actions.

However, it was reckless and Marriner rightly produced an early yellow card.

But Fabregas should have been sent off before half-time for a second caution after he pulled Sterling back by the shorts.

Even if Marriner did not have had a good view of it, the incident was right under the nose of his assistant Gary Beswick. A lack of concentration and poor communication between the pair allowed Fabregas to remain on the pitch.

WHY MAN UTD’S WINNER SHOULDN’T HAVE STOOD

It was lucky Radamel Falcao’s involvement in the build-up to Manchester United’s winner against Crystal Palace was missed by Michael Oliver.

As the cross came in from Ashley Young, the Colombian clearly fouled Damien Delaney by pushing him into Julian Speroni but in real time, it looked like an error from the Palace goalkeeper had allowed Marouane Fellaini to head the ball into an empty net.

Oliver, who was standing on the corner of Palace’s box, would have had an excellent view but it was restricted by both Juan Mata and Mile Jedinak, who was also running towards the ball and the onrushing Speroni.

As for United’s penalty, Alan Pardew claimed Oliver went with his “gut feeling” after penalising Scott Dann for handball. What the referee saw was the Palace centre-back lean his upper body towards the ball. Is that enough to justify a penalty? I’m not so sure.

As for Juan Mata’s supposed trip on Jason Puncheon in the second half, Oliver got that spot on by not awarding a penalty but he would have been better to have waved play on in both situations.

DAWSON DECISION LEADS TO BURNLEY WINNER

It’s surprising that with his experience, Martin Atkinson went looking for trouble in the build-up to Burnley’s winner against Hull City.

Michael Dawson had a little bit of a bloody nose but it wasn’t bad enough to force him off the field for treatment before Burnley’s corner was taken.

Dawson’s decision to hurl abuse towards Atkinson may have made up the referee’s mind and after the Hull defender was ordered to leave the pitch, Danny Ings scored from the corner.

The situation could have been managed a bit better by Atkinson – use a bit of common sense, allow the corner be taken, let the ball get cleared and then tell Dawson he must get treatment. Instead, Hull have paid the price.

CLATTENBURG TO TAKE CHARGE OF BAYERN-BARCA

It goes to show exactly what Uefa think of Mark Clattenburg by giving him the Champions League semi-final second leg between Bayern Munich and Barcelona. It’s a great opportunity for him to show why he’s been the best in the Premier League this season.

If he has a good performance on Tuesday, he’s in with an excellent chance of taking charge of the Europa League final later this month and it will be a decision that’s solely down to Uefa and Pierluigi Collina. The Football Association and the PGMOL has no input, they do not put anyone forward for matches.

As for the Champions League final, don’t expect to see an English referee. With Martin Atkinson and Clattenburg taking charge of the semi-finals, that should rule them both out of the final in Berlin. Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson and Turkey’s Cuneyt Cakir are likely to be among Uefa’s candidates.
 

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey was speaking to Chris Davie on behalf of You Are The Ref. For detailed referee analysis from the experts visit www.you-are-the-ref.com

Falcao's wages a problem for Juventus, says Marotta

The Serie A champions are interested in signing the Colombia international, but fear his wage demands could frustrate a potential deal

Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta has acknowledged that Radamel Falcao’s wages could prove to be too much of an obstacle for the Serie A champions.

The Monaco man is currently on loan at Manchester United, but the Premier League side seem unlikely to make his move permanent come the end of his temporary spell.

Juve are closely monitoring Falcao’s situation and could make a move for the Colombia international if he were to become available this summer.

However, Marotta has admitted that negotiations will not be easy due to the 29-year-old’s hefty wages.

“The situation with Falcao is complicated,” Marotta told Sky Sports.

“His wages cannot be overlooked. At the moment, signing him seems to be a utopia.”

The Juve director then went on to discuss a potential move for Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani and made it clear that they are unlikely to bring in the Uruguay international as PSG are not willing to sell.

“We really like Cavani, but at the moment he is not available.”

Juve are in the market for a new attacker due to the ongoing uncertainty about the future of Carlos Tevez, who is being heavily linked with a return to Boca Juniors, even though the Argentine has insisted nothing has been decided as of yet.

“Boca Juniors? There is nothing happening. People talk too much,” the Serie A top scorer told reporters. “I would rather enjoy this moment and focus on achieving our goals.”