Manchester City have been offered Monaco’s Radamel Falcao for around €70 million and are trying to make the deal happen within the constraints of Uefa’s financial fair play system before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday night.
Manuel Pellegrini wants to sign the striker but the sense at the club is that time could run out. City are allowed a net spend of €62 million and have around €30 million at the moment after Jack Rodwell, Javi García and Gareth Barry departed.
City would need to more than double the money available to them and would be willing to sell Álvaro Negredo, Micah Richards, Matija Nastasic and Scott Sinclair to raise the money. There is interest in Richards from Sunderland but his wages may be an issue.
Negredo is the prime asset among those and has been interesting Real Madrid and their neighbours Atlético. He is valued by City at €31.5 million but has just taken the cast off his injured metatarsal, meaning potential suitors may try to reduce his price. It is unclear whether the Spaniard could pass a medical.
One option that may be explored by City is a loan deal for Falcao, 28, with the option of buying him in January or next summer. He has been available for loan at about €25 million, covering a fee to Monaco and wages. It is thought that Txiki Begiristain, the City director of football, discussed the potential transfer with Monaco during Thursday’s Champions League draw in the principality.
Falcao’s camp have been pushing to get him to Real Madrid but have encountered unexpected resistance from the decision-makers at the Bernabéu, although they have not given up hope of concluding that transfer. Falcao deleted a tweet on Saturday that indicated he was moving to the club. He claimed his account had been hacked.
Madrid, as well as having Negredo and Falcao as options, are understood to be keen on the Manchester United striker Javier Hernández and Tottenham Hotspur's Roberto Soldado. The Mexico international,who is also being tracked by Juventus, is one of several players whose futures at Old Trafford are in the balance. Shinji Kagawa rejoined Borussia Dortmund on Sunday and Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley could follow him out of the club.
Tottenham are the favourites to sign Welbeck, with Arsenal’s need for a striker following Olivier Giroud’s long-term injury potentially tempting them to also consider the 24-year-old. However Welbeck may remain at United, as could Cleverley, who is wanted by Aston Villa. The midfielder’s contract expires in May and although he earns a basic €38,000 a week, considerable add-ons make his United deal lucrative. He is considering whether to stay and leave as a free agent in May, should he still be out of favour.
United's manager, Louis van Gaal, has not ruled out a late move for Juventus's Arturo Vidal or any further strengthening before the deadline despite high-ranking sources at United claiming there is a "very low probability" of more signings.
Daley Blind's confirmation as a United player, assuming he passes a medical and agrees personal terms, for around €19 million from Ajax will take United's summer spend to €184 million, with Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Angel di María having already joined. Van Gaal is already working on targets to sign in January as the manager believes the squad still requires further rebuilding.
Kevin Strootman, who is recovering from a serious knee injury, is the manager's prime target for the winter window, with the Roma midfielder keen on a move to United.