During the last few months of last year and since the beginning of this year, all the transfer talk has been dominated by one player; Radamel Falcao. Falcao is the new scoring sensation in La Liga, having been transferred from Porto to Atletico Madrid for €40m. In fact, Atletico still owe a final instalment for that transfer. However, my sources at Manchester United, which are always very reliable, have suggested that we can forget talk about Falcao going to Chelsea or Manchester City, because a deal has already been done between Manchester United and Atletico Madrid for the transfer of Falcao in the summer transfer window.

This has always been the way these deals are done by Manchester United. They did the same thing when they did a deal with the same club for Spain U-21 goalkeeper, David De Gea a couple of seasons ago. Competing clubs, and there was quite a few, were left at the altar, whilst Sir Alex jumped the queue and did the deal right under their noses, pre-transfer window! That season he also signed Phil Jones, despite being plenty of interest from other clubs.

What I can tell you from my source, a youth team player, is that there has probably already been a down-payment made by United. This is a tactic used previously by Sir Alex and guarantees the transfer at a later date. This tactic also prevents being gazumped by another club. You can already hear the wails and gnashing of teeth from Manicini at the Etihad. No doubt he will be targeting the title in 2020 now that he has missed out on yet another big transfer.

This is precisely the reason Sir Alex operates in this way, to stop being gazumped by the financial cheats like Chelsea and Manchester City, as has happened so often in the past. This sequence of events is nothing new. The same thing happened two seasons ago, when David de Gea left the Vicente Calderón to join Manchester United. The deal between the clubs had been finalised months before, no matter how much the general public and the keeper himself said otherwise. In fact, Atlético had already pocketed a large part of the total fee paid by United. In this case however, the sums in question are going to be much bigger. De Gea left for about €20m, whilst Falcao could set United back over €50m. However, in no case will Falcao’s €60m buy-out clause – inserted into the contract tying him to the club until 2016 – be paid.

Watch this space for future developments.