Real Madrid consider €60 million Di Maria sale to fund Falcao

The Argentine winger faces being shipped out to pay for the former Atletico striker as Real seek competition for Karim Benzema this season


By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer

Real Madrid are holding out for €60 million for Argentina winger Angel Di Maria and plan to use the money to fund a big-money move for Monaco striker Radamel Falcao.

Di Maria is a target for Paris Saint-Germain, but the French champions are yet to meet Madrid’s valuation for the 26-year-old and the Argentine could yet stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, Madrid are keen to push through a sale to recoup some funds in another intense period of summer spending, which has already seen the club pay €30m for Toni Kroos and €80m for James Rodriguez.

James’ Colombia and former Monaco team-mate Falcao could also arrive this summer for a fee in the region of €40m, but Madrid will wait until late in the window to see how he recovers from the anterior cruciate ligament rupture which saw him miss the World Cup.

“Right up until the last day something can happen,” Madrid president Florentino Perez said this week. “Be it buying players or selling them.”

Last year, Real brought in Gareth Bale and sold Mesut Ozil right at the end of the window and this time the last-minute action could involve Di Maria and Falcao, with Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas set to seal a move next week.

Di Maria is unhappy at being used as a transfer pawn for the second summer in a row, especially after his brilliant performances helped the club claim the Copa del Rey and the Champions League last term, and is set for showdown talks with the board when he returns to training on August 5.

Madrid play in six competitions next season and coach Carlo Ancelotti would prefer to keep Di Maria, but the Italian also knows Madrid need another centre-forward after selling Alvaro Morata to Juventus earlier this summer.

Benzema is now the club’s only senior striker and if the club decide to keep Di Maria (and sell Sami Khedira and Isco instead), Madrid may take Falcao on loan for a fee of €12m with a view to a permament deal for around €35m next summer, allowing Ancelotti to assess his fitness after the injury and Perez to raise funds for the move in 2015.

Falcao poised to make Monaco comeback in Emirates Cup

The striker will make his long-awaited return to action in the pre-season tournament in which the Ligue 1 runners-up will compete with Arsenal, Valencia and Benfica


Radamel Falcao is expected to make his eagerly awaited comeback when Monaco take part in the Emirates Cup next week.

The Colombia international has been absent since damaging his cruciate knee ligament in a Coupe de France tie against Monts d’Or Azergues in January.

Falcao missed the World Cup as a result of the injury, despite a desperate late bid to be fit for the tournament in Brazil.

However, the 28-year-old is poised for a return to action when the pre-season tournament takes place at the home of Arsenal.

“I think he will be able to start playing again at the Emirates Cup,” Monaco head coach Leonardo Jardim told L’Equipe.  

“He is now in the final phase of his recuperation.”

Falcao’s future at the Stade Louis II has been called into question amid rumours of a return to La Liga with Real Madrid, with the striker having previously represented rivals Atletico.

Goal understands Madrid are willing to part with Angel Di Maria for €60 million in order to fund a possible move for the Colombia star.

But Jardim is hopeful Falcao will lead the line for Monaco in Ligue 1 this term, adding: “For now, he is a Monaco player and I am counting on him.”

Falcao: I want to stay at Monaco

The Colombia international has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer but insists he believes in “the project” at Stade Louis II


Radamel Falcao has made it clear that he is not thinking about leaving Monaco this summer, amid interest from Real Madrid.

The Colombia international was linked with the Santiago Bernabeu side during his time at Atletico Madrid, but he ultimately joined Monaco in the summer of 2013.

Madrid remain keen to lure Falcao back to La Liga, but the 28-year-old insists he is focused on a return to the Champions League with his current club in the 2014-15 campaign.

“I believe in Monaco’s project. I want to stay here and play Champions League football with Monaco,” the striker said at a press conference.

Falcao also believes Monaco will further strengthen the squad this summer in order to compete with Europe’s elite once again.

“We will strengthen the team in order to be ready for the Champions League,” he added.

Monaco last featured in the Champions League in 2005-06, when they were eliminated by Betis in the third qualification round.

Messi, Neymar, James and Suarez – Copa America 2015 will be the best ever

The continent boasts four of world football’s most prominent stars and that quartet look set to shine in a star-studded tournament next summer


While many remain in something of a post-World Cup daze, turning their attentions to transfer season in an attempt to battle the comedown of Brazil 2014, 10 Conmebol nations and a couple of special guests are already looking ahead to the next major international competition.

Chile 2015 could well be the greatest of the Copa America’s long and illustrious history. Even if guests Mexico once again decide to play an experimental side – leaving sponsorship dollars as their only real contribution to the tournament – and Jamaica find themselves outclassed, the remaining 10 South American nations are as competitive as ever.

Brazil and Argentina are once again set to enter the tournament in a state of transition and aren’t certainties to improve on their quarter-final exits in 2011. Jose Pekerman has got Colombian football back on track with a little help from James Rodriguez, hosts Chile can claim to be as good as anyone else on the continent right now, and nobody has won more titles than reigning champions Uruguay, leaving very little to split the tournament’s five favourites. So what can we expect from next summer’s showpiece?

MINNOWS NO MORE

Arriving off the back of what was surely the most competitive World Cup qualification process in tournament history, it was no surprise to once again see South American sides star in Brazil. The introduction of a single qualifying group ahead of World Cup 1998 was key, with regular competitive matches now having completely eliminated the concept of the minnow in Conmebol.

Ecuador made their World Cup debut four years after its introduction and have now made it to three of the last four finals, while Venezuela, once the San Marino of the Americas, were deserved Copa America semi-finalists in 2011 and were left genuinely disappointed to have failed to make it to Brazil 2014. For the second World Cup running, the continent had five teams in the knockout stage, while two appeared in the semi-finals, with the remaining three having been knocked out by a fellow South American side.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

Brazil 2014 once again proved how important the role of host nation can be in putting on a truly a top-drawer international tournament. Brazil’s trend of the acapella national anthem not only continued from last year’s Confederations Cup but was adopted by a number of other nations this summer, making for some electric atmospheres. The Chileans were as impressive as anyone, with their rendition against Spain particularly rousing.

With Jorge Sampaoli having replaced the naive and romantic Bichi Borghi on the bench, la Roja also got their Bielsan groove back. A dominant victory over Spain was enough to silence any remaining doubters of their true pedigree, and back at home they will be more than just the neutrals’ favourites this time – with their brightest modern generation at their disposal, 2015 will be the first time they have ever entered a senior international competition as favourites to lift the crown.

THE GAME’S BRIGHTEST

Three of World Cup 2014′s five top-scorers were South American. The continent took the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot, and made up seven of Fifa’s team of the tournament. Lionel Messi is now a regular goalscorer for his country and Neymar has grown into a consistent performer and impressively taken on the burden of leadership responsibilities for Brazil. James Rodriguez has proven himself as a world-class talent and will no doubt continue to improve should he complete a move to Real Madrid this summer.

Moreover, the likes of Thiago Silva, Arturo Vidal, Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez and Radamel Falcao could all lay legitimate claims for being the best the world has to offer in their respective positions. Suarez may miss the competition following his heavy suspension, but Falcao will return and be desperate to make up for the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup through injury.

LOCAL SCORES TO SETTLE

When Uruguay saw off Paraguay in 2011 they became the kings of the continent, stepping clear ahead of Argentina with 15 Copa Americas. To have done it in their old enemy’s backyard, with the Buenos Aires-born Fernando Muslera having starred as Argentina were shrugged aside on penalties, added insult to injury. Their chances of making it 16 may depend on whether Suarez has returned to the fold by then.

Argentina, meanwhile, could be looking for a new coach should Alejandro Sabella step aside but his two years in charge have laid a solid foundation for a side that came into the 2011 edition muddled and unbalanced. Brazil have just eight titles – though they will remind you they have appeared in fewer tournaments some of their neighbours – but since 1997 the Selecao have won four Copa America titles, more than Argentina and Uruguay combined in that period.

Colombia, meanwhile, have emerged under Pekerman as genuine contenders and will be among as many as five favourites to claim what would be only their second title.

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Someone call the referee, he didn't show up – Falcao

The striker was less than impressed with Carlos Velasco Carballo during the 2-1 loss to Brazil, but wished Neymar a speedy recovery from injury


Monaco striker Radamel Falcao quipped that someone ought to call referee Carlos Velasco Carballo before his next game after he “didn’t show up” for Colombia’s 2-1 World Cup quarter-final defeat to Brazil.

Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo appeared reluctant to show yellow cards for much of the match, despite a huge number of fouls, with Colombia left particulary frustrated that a number of heavy challenges on James Rodriguez went unpunished.

Carballo also opted against showing Julio Cesar a red card when he brought down Carlos Bacca in front of goal for the penalty which James scored in the closing minutes – another decision which prompted a furious response in the Colombian press.

And Falcao, who missed the tournament in Brazil after failing to recover from a knee injury, was left deeply unimpressed by the officiating in Fortaleza.

“For the next game, remember to call the referee, because he did not show up today,” he wrote on his official Twitter page.

Falcao also wished Neymar a quick recovery following the back injury which has ruled him out of the rest of the tournament and praised his compatriots for their efforts over the past month.

He said to Neymar: “Best wishes for a speedy recovery”, before adding to his team-mates: “Thank you for what you have done, the best is yet to come.”