On Monday evening, Real Madrid President Florentino Perez in a roundabout way signalled his intent on signing Monaco’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao who only joined the newly-promoted Ligue 1 side in June of this year.
Falcao was very much Russian-owned Monaco’s marquee signing of the summer, costing in excess of €60m.
Real Madrid are understood to have been long-term admirers of their bitter rival Atletico’s former player. However, they were reportedly unable to prise the player away from Los Colchoneros because of an ‘anti-Real Madrid’ clause in Falcao’s former contract which would have forced Los Blancos to pay an extra €15m more than any other club (€75m in total).
Florentino Perez told Punto Pelota at the beginning of this week:
“He will not come in January but, in June, who knows? Nothing is impossible, and even then there is a lot [of time left].”
“Falcao is a great player and I know he would want to play in Madrid. I know that but this is quite normal.”
Perez’s suggestions that Falcao wants to sign for Real Madrid were both cunning and threatening towards AS Monaco, who have been quick to react to these claims.
Falcao had this to say in response:
“I can only thank Florentino Perez for what he’s said but I must respect my current club, Monaco, where I am feeling very well.”
“I am very happy at Monaco. This is not the right time to talk about Real Madrid’s potential interest in me out of respect for my current club.”
Meanwhile Monaco’s manager Claudio Ranieri acting jokingly towards Perez’s comments:
“If Real Madrid are willing to part with €100m for Gareth Bale how much for an attacker (Falcao)? €200m?”
Some of Falcao’s teammates have also shown their surprise and disagreement with Florentino Perez’s comments.
Young centre-back Marcel Tisserand told Le 10 Sport:
‘Does Falcao want to leave? I do not think so. The way he is in training completely contradicts those claims. He is committed.’
Monaco’s vice-captain Jeremy Toulalan backed up Tisserand’s sentiments:
“You can never say never in football, we don’t know what can happen. But Falcao’s playing rather well with Monaco. Unlike certain strikers, you can see that he also works for the team and defensively. I don’t get the impression that he wants to leave.”
What is perhaps interesting to note is the fact that Falcao has not denied his interest in moving to Real Madrid in response to Florentino Perez’s outburst on Monday. However, his teammates seem to suggest the Colombian will make it a priority that he remains professional, whatever the situation is next summer.
Either way, he seems settled at Monaco and the only way he can continue to impress and draw that praise from Presidents of top football clubs around the world is to continue performing on the field.