Odds on Radamel Falcao joining Manchester United have been slashed by many UK bookmakers after rumours began to circulate that a down-payment has been paid to Atletico for their star strikers services.
Sky Bet were initially offering 11/1 on Falcao signing for United, and the first wave of speculation first reported by Marca was pushed aside by many as pure speculation and a sly bid by the pro-Real Madrid outfit to unsettle their rivals ahead of the Madrid derby in a fortnight’s time.
It appeared that there was little substance to any reports, with the highly rated Colombian forward having a huge £50 million buy-out clause in his contract and United hardly struggling in the striker department, possessing a rather dazzling array of attacking options, leading many to adopt a sceptical stance.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have been placed as 5/2 favourites, with a surge of bets being placed following Spanish journalist Guillem Ballague’s revelation over a down-payment already being paid to Atletico.
A similar agreement was put in place prior to David De Gea’s switch to Old Trafford in the summer of 2011, and Ballague was one of the first to report the high-profile transfers of both Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas in addition to breaking the news over Santos’ agreement with Barcelona over Neymar.
Since arriving in Europe from River Plate, Falcao has been prolific for both Porto and current side Atletico, and has scored a remarkable 137 goals in 170 games since a switch to the continent in 2009.
An impressive 28 goals in all competitions has left Diego Simeone expecting plenty of interest in his star man, stating on Wednesday; “Falcao is a great player and it’s logical that the best teams in the world are interested in him. It doesn’t surprise me,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Chelsea, Real Madrid and Man City were all reportedly interested in the highly rated forward, regarded by many as the deadliest striker on the planet, but United appear to have stolen a march on their rivals, and a deal which sees Javier Hernandez going in the opposite direction could yet materialise.
While a slashing of odds does not necessarily mean that a deal is imminent, interest certainly appears to be rather concrete, however, it would be of little surprise if the reports are just a sly ploy to cause some unrest by Marca.
What isn’t in doubt is the 27-year-old’s quality, and no matter how strong the current striking options are at Old Trafford, Falcao’s arrival would be sure to further strengthen the position. It does seem likely the Colombian will move this summer, so let a summer of tedious Wesley Sneijder-esque web of news and deceit begin; after all, we all love a good transfer saga!