Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has rubbished talk of Radamel Falcao moving to Old Trafford this summer, despite continued speculation linking him with a big-money transfer.
The Atletico Madrid striker has been repeatedly cited as a target for Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid fro months, but Spanish publication Marca last week reported that United were front-runners for his signature.
The Daily Mail has now stated that Manchester United chief scout Jim Lawlor was in attendance at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday to see Falcao score twice in Atletico’s 5-0 win over Granada. According to the paper, United are putting together a £47 million deal for the Colombian, involving £27 million cash plus Javier Hernandez moving the other way.
Ferguson, though, has ridiculed such suggestions.
“Do you honestly believe that?" he said, according to Manchester United’s official Web site.
"Really? It does amaze me that you come up with that one."
Previous to the surprise speculation about United’s interest in Falcao, Robert Lewandowski had been repeatedly put forward as the club’s leading forward target.
While United are thought to be long-standing admirers of the Borussia Dortmund front man, Bayern Munich have been strongly linked to the 24-year-old in recent weeks. Lewandowski has already revealed that he will not be extending his contract with the Bundesliga club, which is set to expire in 2014.
Spanish publication AS has now reported that Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc will look to cash-in on the player this summer with a move to Bayern said to already be “very close.”
Lewandowski scored in his 11th successive Bundesliga match on Saturday in Dortmund’s 6-1 win over Greuther Furth.
With several potential departures this summer, United could be set to finally sign a central midfielder for the first time since 2007. Paul Scholes could well announce his retirement for the second time, while doubts remain about the health of Darren Fletcher as well as Anderson’s future at the club.
And, according to the Sunday People, the club is keen on Newcastle United’s Yohan Cabaye as a replacement. The report suggests that a £20 million bid is being lined up for the France international.
Newcastle will certainly be reluctant to lose the influential playmaker, but may not be able to stand in the player’s way, especially if the club is relegated from the Premier League. However, whether United would pay such a hefty sum for a player of Cabaye’s age is doubtful.
A likelier target may well be the 24-year-old Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic. The Guardian has reported that Manchester United have made initial inquiries with the Portuguese club about his availability.
Matic has been a big success since his move from Chelsea in 2011 and has helped Benfica to top spot in the Portuguese league as well as into the semifinals of the Europa League. He recently earned praise following his displays against Newcastle in their quarterfinal tie.
According to the Guardian, a move to United could be hampered by a high asking price after the Serbia international signed a new contract in January. Ferguson, though, is said to be determined to bring in a leading central midfielder for next season.