Monaco’s billionaire Russian owner Dmitry Rybolovlev announced on Friday the signature of Colombian forward Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid in a deal believed to be worth about 60 million euros (US$77 million).
“I would like to officially announce that Falcao has signed his contract,” Rybolovlev said through a French interpreter at an event celebrating Monaco’s promotion to the French top flight next season with Prince Albert of Monaco and coach Claudio Ranieri also present.
Rybolovlev did not give any details about the size of the transfer, although Monaco said on their Web site the player had signed for five years.
“I am very happy at his arrival,” beamed Ranieri, who was Chelsea manager when they lost to Monaco in the 2004 Champions League semi-finals. “He is a very important player for us, a great player and a great goal scorer.”
“We want to build a very good team around him. He plays for the team, but is also very efficient around goal. He is very impressive,” the Italian said.
“When I arrived at this club, I knew what the project was. Now everyone understands my decision,” he added about taking over the coaching duties when they were playing second division soccer. Although the fee has not been disclosed, media sources in France claim it is one of the largest, if not the largest in the country’s history.
Monaco vice-president Jean-Louis Campora added: “We will not be giving any details on the content of the contract right now because we have an appeal in progress. We will give them in the future.”
That appeal relates to a decision by the Professional Football League (LFP) that forces Ligue 1 teams to be based in France from next year.
Falcao had a 60 million euro buy-out clause in his Atletico contract, but some media sources say the actual transfer fee is 45 million euros, with the player due to pick up an annual salary of 14 million euros.