A few days ago the Daily Mail, amongst others reported that Chelsea were close to reaching agreement with Monaco over the loan signing of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao.
The Mail is reporting that the Blues will pay a £7million loan fee for the striker.
Falcao is currently away on international duty with Colombia at the Copa America and will be hoping his team can claim glory in Chile.
Falcao will probably be relieved to be in that Colombia squad for the Copa, after such a poor campaign on-loan in the Premier League at Manchester United.
When he arrived at United on-loan from Monaco last summer it was considered a major coup for veteran Dutch boss Louis van Gaal. He joined on a season-long loan with a view to completing a permanent move this summer for a reported fee of £44million.
At the time it looked like just a formality that United would conclude the permanent signing of the striker. Falcao arrived as one of the most prolific strikers in European football in the past few years.
His record of four goals in 26 appearances was not of a feared striker though, but more of a striker who struggled to find his feet in the Premier League. It is fair say that nobody at United was rushing the chequebook out to complete that particular deal.
The 29-year-old was then shipped back to Monaco with a ‘no longer at this address sticker’ and his career was thrown into limbo. His next move was unknown, but he was still highly-regarded. Nobody would pay the hefty fee that Monaco were looking to recoup for the striker.
The Ligue One club paid a hefty £52million for the striker in 2013 and were always going to struggle to get back anywhere near what they paid for the Colombian striker.
It now seems that he will be plying his trade with Chelsea next season with Blues boss Jose Mourinho a big admirer. Mourinho said of the striker: ‘It hurts me that people in England think that the real Falcao is the one we saw at Manchester United. If I can help Falcao reach his level again, I will do it.’
Chelsea are in need of more striking power after veteran Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba was released by the Blues. Mourinho’s men would have been reduced to just two striking options in Diego Costa and Loic Remy.
Costa suffered a host of niggling injuries last season, so the Blues obviously need back-up for the Spanish international. The Brazilian-born star played with Falcao at Spanish club Atletico Madrid and took over as Atleti’s first choice striker when Falcao departed.
Remy is a decent back-up, but there are noises coming of the 28-year-olds camp that he may want to move on in search of first team football this summer.
No doubt the arrival of Falcao will vastly reduce Remy’s chances of first team football greatly next season, as he would be behind the former-Atletico Madrid pair in the pecking order. The likes of West Ham and Crystal Palace have both been linked with a move for the Frenchman.
Falcao picked-up a serious knee injury in January 2014, just six months after joining Monaco. He failed to prove his fitness in time to be part of Colombia’s World Cup squad, but looked to have fully recovered in Monaco’s pre-season.
He did not stay at Monaco long though, as he was whisked off to United on transfer deadline day. The less said about his season in English football the better.
Radamel Falcao is a proven goalscorer in European football, prolific in the Portuguese and Spanish top-flights. He gained a reputation of being one of the best out-and-out number nines in the world game.
He has not become a bad player overnight. The serious knee injury sustained in January has obviously affected him. He has not quite looked as sharp as before and maybe he will never be the same player as he was prior to the injury. However, surely at 29-years-old Falcao still has a lot to offer at the top level of football?
No doubt Chelsea signing Falcao is a slight gamble, but £7million is not a lot for a striker with his proven goalscoring record. He is an upgrade on Drogba and could turn out to be an inspired signing from Mourinho.
The Portuguese boss may just be able to help the Colombian rediscover his top form, although the bookmakers doubt it as Falcao is odds of 25/1 to win the golden boot next season. Only time will tell if Mourinho or the bookies are right about the Colombian star.
Will Radamel Falcao be a success at Chelsea?