What was initially reported as another big-name signing by Real Madrid has turned into a compelling drama with more twists and turns than a daytime soap opera.
Speculation of Radamel Falcao’s imminent transfer began to circulate following news of a meeting taking place at the UEFA Champions League draw in Monte Carlo between Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, the player’s agent Jorge Mendes and Monaco officials. It was believed that a deal was drawn up at this gathering and all that remained was Falcao’s approval.
Then yesterday, rumors of the striker heading to Madrid on a season-long loan went into overdrive after a tweet appeared on his official Twitter account proclaiming: “Sueno hecho realidad #HalaMadrid; Dream come true #HalaMadrid”.
Falcao would deny sending the message a few hours later and claim that it was the result of someone photo shopping the tweet. But the problem with the Colombian’s explanation is millions of fans saw the message on his social media site.
This is where the story really goes off the script.
CNN and beinSPORT contributor Tancredi Palmeri has been on top of the transfer saga since the beginning of the summer.
Palmeri began releasing information via his Twitter account late Saturday night. The correspondent ended up giving minute-by-minute updates on the developments in the Falcao transfer; which he organized and published on his website earlier this afternoon. The journalist has labeled the drawn-out transfer, “The Curious Case of Radamel Falcao”.
The summary of Palmeri’s claims are:
*Right now, Monaco and Real Madrid have an agreement in place for a season-long loan for Falcao, with Madrid holding the option to buy the player next season. The deal was set to satisfy everyone involved (monetarily) and it was what the player wanted. Since Falcao has “dreamed” of playing for the Spanish giants.
*But Falcao’s agent, Mendes, continued to inform other European clubs (Juventus, Arsenal, Manchester City) that the transfer was yet to be closed, looking for better offers; since the player has yet to sign the agreement between Monaco and Madrid.
*Falcao’s people end up turning down offers from Juventus and Arsenal.
*Manchester City tell Mendes they need time to move some players before they can make any guarantees.
*Saturday afternoon, Manchester City send the agent their offer, which is for a huge sum of money and would sign Falcao to a permanent deal (no season-long loan).
*Mendes informs Monaco because this deal would make the most sense for the French club, since they need to recover as much money as possible. But there is a problem. Monaco have an existing agreement in place with Real Madrid for Falcao.
*Monaco’s only option is to convince the striker to refuse Real Madrid’s offer and accept Manchester City’s.
*Falcao has dreamed of playing for Real Madrid, but he also wants assurances that he will remain with the La Liga club past this season.
*According to Palmeri, it is around this time that the tweet shows up on Falcao’s official Twitter account. Presumably, before the player learned of the offer from Manchester City.
*Saturday night, after a day of meetings with his agent, Manchester City and Monaco; Falcao closes the day without making a decision. And that’s where the transfer stands at this point.
But now, another development has occurred.
Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague is reporting that Real Madrid have an agreement in place to sign Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez on a season-long loan.
It appears the Spanish club caught wind of the discussions between Falcao’s agent, Manchester City and Monaco; and have decided to cover their back by making a deal with Manchester United for the Mexico international.
The Guardian is now reporting that City have offered £55 million to sign Falcao on a permanent deal. The Premier League champions want the striker and are trying to make the deal happen within the constraints of UEFA’s financial fair play system by offloading: Alvaro Negredo, Micah Richards, Matija Nastasic and Scott Sinclair.
The transfer window is going to close tomorrow at 6pm EST (11pm BST). It appears this transfer saga is going to be drawn out until the dying minutes on Monday night.