With eight days remaining until the summer transfer session ends, Radamel Falcao remains one of the most coveted players in Europe. Many clubs would openly state their intentions to bring Monaco’s Colombian star to their grounds, but the 28-year-old has reportedly made it known that he wants a stay with Real Madrid. There has been no word if Bernabeu officials share Falcao’s desire, but some clubs do stand in Madrid’s way if they decide to make a bid.
Following their sale of striker Mario Balotelli to Liverpool, AC Milan are evidently eyeing Falcao as well as Porto’s Jackson Martinez as a replacement, according to Express. The bidding for Falcao could start at £50 million, even though he’s still rediscovering his form after serious knee injury limited him to half the 2013-14 Ligue 1 term.
The Reds were also angling for Falcao’s services, but that was before he rebuffed their approach, and they subsequently purchased Balotelli for £16 million. Even though Liverpool have been big spenders this summer, Balotelli’s signature likely removes them from contention for Falcao.
Another Italian side is interested in Falcao, Juventus. Earlier this week, the reigning Serie A champions were keen on a loan deal for Falcao, and were willing to go so far as to sell Fernando Llorente to Valencia, Daily Mail reported.
There’s been very little word out of the Bernabeu regarding Falcao, and Los Blancos already matched rival Barcelona’s deal for Luis Suarez by signing Falcao’s Colombia teammate and World Cup hero James Rodriguez, along with Germany’s Toni Kroos. It’s also possible Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti may have some reservations about how he could use Falcao, and whether a move would unsettle Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ancelotti must also squelch the heavy transfer speculation regarding star midfielder Angel Di Maria. The Argentine’s ceaseless contract negotiations with Madrid have reached an impasse, and Daily Star reports Di Maria has put in a transfer request to Ancelotti.
Manchester United have long been the favorites to land Di Maria, and now that Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly pulled out due to violation of Financial Fair Play rules, there’s a much stronger chance the 26-year-old winds up at Old Trafford. There was one intriguing report out of Spain that Barcelona placed a £48 million bid for Di Maria, but Madrid promptly rejected it.
Other there than Di Maria, there were reports that Madrid’s midfield could also see the departures of Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso. According to Daily Mirror, Bayern Munich legend Franz Beckenbauer hopes the German side beat out Arsenal for Khedira’s signature.
"Khedira would be good in any team. He would be excellent at Bayern,” Beckenbauer said. “He is extremely talented in the No 6 role. He could play alongside Schweinsteiger or Lahm. He would be very good."
His market value rising to £31 million since capturing the World Cup with Germany last month, Khedira’s contract is up next summer, and though he’s still an integral player in Ancelotti’s lineup, Madrid is looking to sell him now rather than risk gaining nothing in return. Arsenal and Chelsea have chased Khedira as well, but they could be spurned if United manage to swoop in and snag Alonso.
The inclusion of Alonso in any trade speculation might be a shock to some Bernabeu supporters, but Express reports that Madrid were actually concerned and “unhappy” by how much weight the 32-year-old had lost over the summer. United are now making a play for Alonso with their pursuit of Juve’s Arturo Vidal going nowhere. If United pull off the deal, Madrid may be reticent to part with Khedira.