Monaco happy to flog flop Falcao elsewhere if Man Utd ditch him

The Colombian moved to Old Trafford on loan for an initial €8 million fee, but there are doubts over his future thanks to indifferent form

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev says “great clubs” are interested in signing Radamel Falcao if Manchester United decide not to make his loan stay at Old Trafford permanent.

The terms of a full transfer between the French club and their English counterparts were put in place back in September when Falcao made his shock deadline-day loan move, with a €55 million fee agreed between the teams.

But the Colombian has so far been a big disappointment at Old Trafford and manager Louis van Gaal’s decision to leave him out of the squad for the game against Southampton back in January has meant that his future remains unclear.

The Monaco chief, however, says he has faith in the striker’s ability and that a number of sides have contacted his club about a summer transfer.

“I’m not worried for Falcao, he is a world-class striker,” Vasilyev told BBC Sport.

“If Manchester United decide not take up the option at the end of the season, we have interest from other great clubs. So I am really not worried for him at all.”

My strikers don't need to score, insists Van Gaal

The Dutchman says that the goals are equally spread around his team, pointing to Chris Smalling’s recent double after coming off the substitutes’ bench against Burnley

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he has no problem if his strikers are not scoring, insisting he is an unusual coach.

United’s performances in recent weeks have led to criticism of the team’s playing style, while the strike partnership of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao was broken up for Monday night’s FA Cup victory over Preston North End with the Dutchman missing the game.

The duo have scored two goals each since the turn of the year and there have been calls for Wayne Rooney, deployed in midfield for most of the season, to return to the attack.

But when it was put to Van Gaal that his forwards have not been hitting the back of the net enough, he insisted it does not matter where the goals from come.

“I am not a usual coach, it doesn’t matter for me who is scoring the goals,” he told reporters on Friday.

“I also said that in the beginning of the season when you criticised my defenders. No, it is not the defenders, it is the team.

“The defence begins with the attackers and the attack begins with the defenders who have to build up so that we come in the third, fourth phase. I am very happy that, for instance, Chris Smalling scored two goals against Burnley when he came on.

“Everyone knows what he has to do when he comes on. Every time you have a substitute getting ready to come on he has to listen for three minutes to the assistant about set-plays because we have organised everything.

“The most difficult part is to perform and that is down to the players, so all the credit goes to the players.”

Van Gaal was also pleasd when it was put to him that a poll conducted by the Manchester Evening News suggested that the majority of United fans support the Dutchman’s approach.

“Over 80%? Unbelievable. In spite of the media’s criticism, fantastic. Thank you. I can repeat it, more than 80%.

“It is not also for the first time that the fans are amazing. When you see at Preston North End, in the second-half we are behind after two minutes, and the fans are supporting us until the end. That is not the first time, it happens every match that they are supporting in spite of being behind.”

The manager added that Phil Jones and Van Persie are in contention to start Saturday’s clash with Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

Jones was withdrawn early on with a knee injury during the 1-1 draw with Burnley 10 days ago, while Van Persie missed the Preston match with a knock.

“They are fit to play,” Van Gaal told MUTV. “Only Carrick is still injured.

“I think he shall train with the group next week. I expect that, but you never know. You’ll have to wait and see.”

Neville urges Van Gaal to play Rooney up front: He's your best bet!

The former Manchester United full-back believes that the England captain should be moved back into his favoured position

Gary Neville has urged Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to play Wayne Rooney as a striker.

The former Red Devils full-back believes Van Gaal’s experiment with Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie up front together has failed and wants to see Rooney given a prolonged spell as the spearhead of United’s attack.

Neville, who now works as a pundit for Sky Sports and a coach for England, said in his column for the Daily Telegraph: “In this current system Rooney is a better bet at centre-forward.”

“Seeing him go back to centre-forward last Monday at Preston tells me that the Van Persie-Falcao centre-forward experiment has probably ended. I’m not saying you will never see them again as a duo but it doesn’t seem to work.

“If Van Persie and Falcao are going to play as a pair, you would need to play with wide players who would service them. They are both box players who lack mobility and blistering pace.”

Neville also spoke about Van Gaal’s first nine months in charge at Old Trafford, saying the club’s supporters will have to accept the Dutchman’s style of play.

United have lost just one game in 19 and have made the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but have seen their style of play widely panned by the media and fans alike.

Yet Neville says it is natural to expect United to deviate away from the culture Sir Alex Ferguson instilled at the club, while he believes Van Gaal’s methods will pay dividends.

“Van Gaal’s work will be judged not by whether he can take United back into the Champions League this season but whether he can ultimately regain the English title. The Premier League is the benchmark.

“I believe he will complete phase one: win a trophy and return to the Champions League.

“I know he needs to strengthen but I’m not totally sure where or when. While United fans – me included – are unsure, the one person I guarantee won’t be is Van Gaal because he is so sure of himself.

“I bet he can’t believe the current fuss. He will be relaxed, confident and pleased with a run of one defeat in 19.”

Falcao bemused as he is hauled off by Manchester United boss Van Gaal

Rumours that the striker is unhappy at Old Trafford have persisted since he was dropped against Southampton, and he looked less than impressed at being substituted on Monday

Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao has reacted with apparent bemusement to being hauled off by manager Louis van Gaal.

Falcao looked shocked and perhaps even slightly disgusted as he squinted to check if his number really was held aloft by the fourth official, with his side looking to come from a goal down away to Preston in the FA Cup.

Rumours that the Colombian is unhappy at Old Trafford have persisted at the start of 2015, having been sparked by Van Gaal’s decision to leave him out of the match day squad for the January 11 defeat at home to Southampton.

Jorge Mendes, the striker’s agent, had spoken out in the aftermath, suggesting the former Porto man may not stay at United beyond the summer, and has since aimed some thinly veiled barbs in Van Gaal’s direction.

Former Colombia striker Faustino Asprilla has also claimed that the relationship between Falcao and his manager was “broken”, and Monday’s incident is likely only to fuel those rumours further.

               THE LONELY WALK | Falcao trudges off after his number is held aloft (Getty)

      SHAKE ON IT? | After showing his disapproval, all eyes were on Falcao and Van Gaal (Getty)

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, commentating on the match for the BBC, said: “I wonder if we’ll ever see him again in a United shirt, he’s offered nothing to his team tonight.”

Ashley Young replaced Falcao, who joined on a season-long loan from Monaco on transfer deadline day in September, and five minutes later Ander Herrera had cancelled out the hosts’ opening goal.

Marouane Fellaini then turned the game on its head in the 73rd minute, giving his men a 2-1 lead.

Misfiring Falcao will succeed at Manchester United – Law

It is only a matter of time until the Colombian discovers top form, according to the Red Devils legend, despite the expensive loanee netting just four goals in 18 games so far

Denis Law backs Radamel Falcao to become a success at Manchester United and believes that it is only a matter of time before he hits top form.

The Colombian striker has bagged four goals in 18 appearances since his loan switch from Monaco but has been largely used as a substitute by manager Louis van Gaal.

However, the United legend believes that the 29-year-old has what it takes to succeed in the Premier League and lauded his creativity up top.

He told United Review: “When you look at our squad, it looks really good.

“The guys who have come in have shown what they can do and we’ll soon see them regularly at their best. Angel Di Maria is obviously a special talent and, while Radamel Falcao maybe hasn’t scored as many goals as he would have liked so far, there’s no questioning his pedigree and his ability.

“He has been absolutely excellent throughout his career and everyone was looking forward to seeing him play when his arrival was announced. He’s a goalscorer, a good player who gets involved and, again, he’s needed time to settle in, especially coming back from such a bad injury. But once he starts scoring regularly then you’ll see an even better player.”

Law scored 237 goals for the Red Devils during his career, offering his own advice on the tough mentality needed to succeed at the top level.

“As a goalscorer, you go through spells where everything is going in and other times when nothing will go right for you at all. You miss the target, hit the woodwork or the goalie makes a fabulous save and it feels like a lot of things are conspiring against you,” he added.

“All you can do is keep trying, keep doing what you do best and nobody can ask any more than that. There’s no question about Falcao’s commitment at all; he’s proven that beyond any doubt.”