In light of Radamel Falcao’s $9 million loan move to Manchester United on Monday, the player’s father has stepped forward to shed some light on what clubs were fighting for his son on deadline day.
As it turns out Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Juventus all had interest in signing Falcao while Real Madrid – the club most pundits believed the Colombian striker was headed – apparently removed themselves from contention due to financial reasons.
“The clubs that showed an interest in him were Juventus, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal at the last minute,” Radamel Garcia told the Colombian radio station LA FM. “Fortunately, he has arrived to Manchester United, a great club. Thank God everything came through with United.”
Related: With Falcao can United challenge for Premier League title?
In the eyes of Garcia, Manchester United is the most important club in England and the place where his son will bring titles to. “Radamel is a person who has given a lot in Europe and has always deserved the best for all the effort, all the sacrifices he has made during his football career. United is the most important team in England and one of the most powerful from an economic standpoint. Now it’s his turn to give his best, to be ready and continue to win titles.”
More: Falcao, Di Maria and Blind – How will United line up?
As to Falcao’s proposed move to the Estadio Bernebeu, Garcia explained: “The deal with Real Madrid did not happen because if you have money and you go to the market to buy a shirt or a pair of trousers, you have to decide whether to buy it or not. Real Madrid chose not to. I don’t know, I have the feeling they wanted the player for free with a number of conditions. In any case, they bought the trousers and shirt they wanted and they considered that to be better. We have to accept it.”
The 28-year-old striker joins Manchester United after completing a nine month rehabilitation program following surgery to repair knee ligament damage suffered in January when he was with Monaco. Before injury struck Falcao had tallied 11 goals in 20 appearances for the Ligue 1 side just one season after registering 34 goals across all competitions for Atletico Madrid.
Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.
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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.
Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:
“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”
That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”
[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]
There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?
Is it just me, or does the press really only ever get noteworthy quotes from players during international breaks?
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I suppose it’s not surprising, given Premier League players get away from the mean ole British press, go back to their respective homelands and speak with journalists they’ve likely known since their early playing days, thus feel more comfortable opening up about key issues.
Anyway, today we have Olivier Giroud essentially calling himself out for having lost the starting striker’s job at Arsenal because he’s been outplayed of late by Theo Walcott. As discussed before, this is bad news for Giroud because he’s now falling down the depth chart for France with next summer’s European Championship on the horizon.
[ MORE: Aguero admits he wants Guardiola link-up ]
Giroud, on losing his place at Arsenal — quotes from the Guardian:
“At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.
“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. It is something new for me.
“I was in [Walcott’s] place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”
Giroud goes on to cast into doubt his own confidence, stating in very certain terms he needs “to believe more in [his] abilities.” Giroud’s always come across as a bit of an existentialist, but it’s always strange to hear players publicly call themselves out — particularly their confidence — as if that’s not going to increase the pressure currently weighing down on them.
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The next eight months are going to be monumentally important in Giroud’s career, as the 29-year-old attempts to prove he’s worth keeping around at Arsenal and deserving of a place in the national team squad for next summer’s EUROs, which are to be played in France.