Tue, May 26, 2015 - Page 18 News List

United send Falcao back to AS Monaco after loan concludes

AP, MANCHESTER, England

Manchester United sent Radamel Falcao back to AS Monaco on Sunday after a disappointing season-long loan in which the Colombia international failed to show the predatory instincts that once made him one of the world’s top strikers.

United announced the club would not be exercising the option to sign the 29-year-old Falcao on a permanent deal, which would have cost £43.2 million (US$67 million) for a player who scored just four goals in 29 matches this season.

“Falcao is a top professional and a good human being,” United manager Louis van Gaal said. “On behalf of myself and everyone at the club, I would like to wish him well for the future.”

United paid about £6 million to Monaco on deadline day in Europe’s summer transfer window last year to take Falcao on loan for the season, with an option to buy.

OUT OF FORM

However, Falcao has not managed to reproduce the kind of form that made him stand out during prolific spells with Porto and Atletico Madrid.

He does not appear to have recovered fully from the serious knee injury that ruled him out of last year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and robbed him of his explosive pace and movement.

Colombia’s all-time top scorer scored for United in his fourth game — a 2-1 win over Everton — but only netted three more times since October last year and not in his past 13 matches.

INJURY

Falcao was left out of Manchester United’s squad for the final game of the season, at Hull City on Sunday, through injury, Van Gaal said.

His last match was the 1-1 draw against Arsenal at Old Trafford the previous weekend.

The departure of Falcao leaves United short of options up front, especially with doubts surrounding the future of striker Robin van Persie.

Falcao joined Monaco from Atletico in 2013 in a deal worth 60 million euros (then US$78 million).

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