With Paris Saint-Germain pulling further away from Monaco in the Ligue Un title race in recent weeks, Claudio Ranieri’s side was potentially looking for additional players in the January transfer market. Ivorian striker Lacina Traore was bought from Anzhi but was loaned out to Everton until the end of this season. Then came the devastating news on Tuesday of Radamel Falcao’s injury that will put him out for the remainder of the French season and the World Cup this summer. The Colombian striker has arguably been the most influential single signing in Europe this season, helping Monaco climb from newly promoted side to title contenders.
Now replacing Falcao with a top-tier attacking player is the priority for Ranieri’s club. Emmanuel Rivière, who signed from Toulouse last January, has been the subject of interest from Stoke City. Now Rivière may be back in Ranieri’s plans with the Falcao injury.
L’Equipe has reported that Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic and Zenit’s Hulk are both possible replacements for Falcao this window. Vucinic, who was coached by Ranieri at Roma, is the subject of other transfer speculation across the continent as he has fallen further down the pecking order of the Italian champions.
Monaco needs to finish in the top three of Ligue Un to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League. The 2004 European runners-up will have immense UEFA Financial Fair Play problems if they do not qualify for the Champions League. While Ranieri’s men are currently eight points clear of fourth placed St Etienne, the club may want to leave nothing to chance by making a new signing.
Ranieri’s team will be worth keeping tabs on as the January window shuts in one week’s time.
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