Falcao 'like a kid' over Manchester United move

The Colombia international sealed a big-money loan move to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day and says he cannot wait to get started with Louis van Gaal’s men

Radamel Falcao insists he feels “like a kid” after his deadline day loan move to Manchester United.

The Colombia international joined fellow new signing Daley Blind at Old Trafford on Monday, with United being granted an extension to sign the star from Monaco in the early hours of the morning.

He tweeted last Saturday that he had realised a dream by signing for Real Madrid, only to later delete it, while there were also links with moves to Manchester City and Juventus.

And Falcao says he is ready to fire United up the league after a difficult few days.

“For me it is amazing,” he told the Observer when asked about his move to United.

“I am very happy. I hope to give my team the best and help to bring a lot of goals and victories.

“I think I have lived this week very intensely. It hasn’t been the most comfortable week to work in, with all of the changes, but I have lived it like a kid.

“I have had the same feeling as when I debuted for the national team. It was very exciting and special and I enjoyed being back.”

Falcao came off the bench late on in his country’s 1-0 defeat to Brazil on Friday in Miami, and he is understood to be applying for a fast-track visa to be able to face QPR on September 14.

“I now leave in a very good condition to join my club and I hope to be available next week,” he added. “I go to Manchester with lots of hopes to try to win a place in the team and then come back to play for Colombia. It’s better to not overthink and let things happen normally instead.”

Costa, Di Maria, Falcao, James – why Jorge Mendes was the transfer window's real winner

COMMENT: The Portuguese super-agent oversaw many of the biggest transfers and claimed around €30m from his clients’ movements this summer

By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer

As deadline day transfer business came to a close on Monday night, Radamel Falcao’s late move to Manchester United ensured one last lucrative deal for football’s most powerful agent. Jorge Mendes had done it again.

While some clubs will be happy with their business during the window and others will have wanted more, Mendes was the window’s biggest beneficiary as he masterminded several of the summer’s most expensive transfers.

A frustrated footballer who worked as a DJ, then owned a video shop and a nightclub outside Lisbon, Mendes started selling advertising space on pitchside hoardings at small Portuguese clubs and eventually struck up a relationship with Nuno, now coach at Valencia. The goalkeeper’s move to Spain in 1997 saw Mendes involved in a transfer for the first time. But since then, deals involving his players have totalled more than a billion euros.

Mendes manages Jose Mourinho and his relationship with the Chelsea coach saw a number of players represented by the agent’s GestiFute firm (Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Maniche and Tiago) move to Stamford Bridge in his first spell. Likewise at Real Madrid (where Angel Di Maria, Fabio Coentrao and Carvalho came in to join other Mendes clients Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe during the Mourinho era).

Mendes was heavily involved again in Monaco’s spending spree last summer, as Falcao, James Rodriguez, Moutinho and Carvalho all joined the Riviera side.

This summer, however, Mendes has done arguably his best business. The Portuguese oversaw James’ move from Monaco to Madrid for €80m, took a 10 per cent cut as Di Maria left Real for Manchester United at around €75m and also made significant funds as Diego Costa joined Chelsea for €35m and Eliaquim Mangala was sold by Porto to Manchester City for a fee of approximately €53m (third-party involvement meant the Portuguese side were paid €30.5m for a percentage of his playng rights). Another of his clients, Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay, joined Zenit from Benfica for around €15m.

Then, as the transfer window was drawing to a close, Mendes negotiated with several clubs over Falcao. The agent had hoped to position the striker at Real Madrid, but there was more interest from the player than the club and president Florentino Perez grew tired of the agent’s constant calls, telling colleagues behind the scenes: “If I bring in Falcao, I’d have to make Mendes president!”

In the end, Falcao moved to United, initially on a lucrative loan arrangement worth around €10m. So although the 48-year-old didn’t get his wish for Falcao to move to Madrid, he still got his money. And in total, the agent claimed close to €30m from his clients’ movements over the summer. As usual, Mendes was the window’s real winner.

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Allegri: Falcao would not have improved Juventus squad

The Bianconeri were reportedly keen on signing the Colombia international but the Bianconeri boss insists that he was not disappointed to see him end up at Manchester United

Massimiliano Allegri has suggested that Juventus did not sign Radamel Falcao because they did not feel he would have improved their squad.

The Bianconeri were heavily linked with a move for the Colombia international but he instead joined Manchester United on deadline day, with the Premier League outfit reportedly agreeing to pay Monaco over €12 million for the right to take the striker on loan for one season, with the right to buy the player outright next summer.

When asked if he was disappointed by Juve’s failure to sign Falcao, Allegri replied: “No, I feel that the directors have worked well.

“The aim was to carry out targeted operations, not to buy just for the sake of buying. Ours was an intelligent transfer market.

“We would have only done something more if we had found a player that would have really lifted the level of the squad.

“Otherwise, buying for the sake of buying is useless. Juventus have already shown themselves to have a very competitive squad.”

Coincidentally, United were also reportedly intent on luring Bianconeri midfielder Arturo Vidal to Old Trafford but Allegri insists that there was no chance of the Chilean leaving Turin this summer.

“He was never on the market,” the former Milan boss stated. “The club told me from the start that he would stay.

“We have maintained a good squad, with a lot of great acquisitions.”

Juve kicked off the defence of their Serie A title with a 1-0 win at Chievo last weekend.

The opposition files: Colombia

With Brazil set to take on Jose Pekerman’s side at SunLife Stadium in Miami on Friday, GBGT takes a closer look at Los Cafeteros

 NicknameLos Cafeteros (The coffee growers)
 Capital: Bogota
 Stadium: Estadio Nacional
 Top Goalscorer: Arnoldo Iguaran (25)
 Most Caps: Carlos Valderrama (111)
Coach: Jose Pekerman

The Argentine has been credited with leading the revival of the Colombian national team, leading them to their first World Cup finals appearance since 1998 and achieving their best ever performance by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in the nation’s history, where they were ultimately eliminated by Brazil in Fortaleza. The 65-year-old former Argentina boss ushered in a return to the Colombian passing game, “regaining the identity of Colombian football,” according to former great Carlos Valderrama. He recently renewed his contract with the Colombian football federation that will take him through to World Cup 2018.

The Next BIG Thing: Eder Alvarez Balanta

Colombia have suffered something of a dearth of top quality central defenders in recent years, with 38-year-old Mario Yepes having to lead the back line at this year’s World Cup. And so the emergence of 21-year-old Eder Alvarez Balanta has come at an ideal time for Pekerman. Viewed as one of the most promising young stoppers in world football, upon breaking into the side as a teenager he instantly earned comparisons to the great Daniel Passarella. Balanta is set to be a fixture in the Colombia side for many years to come.

One to watch: James Rodriguez

A classy, left-footed playmaker, James Rodriguez, known simply as James (pronounced Ham-es), was given the freedom to wonder the field searching for pockets of space at this year’s World Cup and did so to devastating effect. He was the tournament’s top scorer with six goals and subsequently earned a €80 million move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, just one season after joining big-spending Monaco in France’s Ligue 1. The current posterboy of Colombian football, nullifying James will be vital to Brazil’s chances of earning a favourable result at SunLife Stadium on Friday.

The Goal Threat: Falcao

Radamel ‘El Tigre’ Falcao is rated by many as the finest no.9 on the planet and is desperate to make up for lost time after injury cruelly saw him ruled out of Colombia’s World Cup campaign. At 28-years-old the former River Plate star is at the peak of his powers and this week sealed a loan move to Manchester United from French club Monaco, whom he joined for €60 million just over 12 months ago. He still holds the record for the youngest debutant in Colombian football history at just 13-years-old, and will no doubt soon grab the six goals that will see him surpass Arnoldo Iguaran as Colombia’s all-time top scorer.

Brazil meet Colombia as the Gillette Brasil Global Tour resumes at SunLife Stadium in Miami, USA, on September 5.

Betting: Falcao, Balotelli, Welbeck – the Premier League hot shots looking to make an impact

With many English clubs having spent big on high class attacking players this summer, Al Hain-Cole examines the potential impact of some of the most high profile recruits

A record-breaking £835 million was splashed out by Premier League clubs during the recent transfer window, with the majority of that jaw-dropping figure spent on attacking players towards deadline day.

Most dramatic was Manchester United’s last minute capture of Radamel Falcao, a player whose goal-scoring record over the past few season will make for exciting reading among the Old Trafford faithful.

While some have questioned where he will fit in the team, the Colombian is the immediate 11/8 (2.38) favourite with bet365 to finish as top scorer for the Red Devils which could prove popular with punters, and available at 14/1 (15.00) to win the Premier League golden boot.

That arrival marked an end to Danny Welbeck’s career at United, prompting the Manchester native to relocate to London in order to join rivals Arsenal.

Considering main striker Olivier Giroud is sidelined until January, the €20 million man may appear tempting at 9/2 (5.50) to become his new club‘s top marksman, although he represents a long shot at 66/1 (67.00) to finish on top of the entire league’s charts.

With Diego Costa already bedding in nicely after joining Chelsea early on in the summer, Loic Remy can realistically only hope to provide more effective back-up than the departed Fernando Torres ever managed at Stamford Bridge.

Expected to play second fiddle to the big Brazilian, Remy inspires little confidence at 33/1 (34.00) to finish as the Premier League’s top scorer, regardless of his impressive scoring record at QPR and Newcastle.

The Frenchman previously appeared close to joining Liverpool before the move mysteriously broke down at the 11th hour, with the Reds instead taking a gamble on the unpredictable Mario Balotelli.

Despite a promising debut away to Tottenham, the livewire Italian is on offer at a hefty 33/1 (34.00) to more than repay Brendan Rodgers’ faith by following in Luis Suarez’s footsteps and outscoring everyone in the league this season.


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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.