A massive Russian divorce settlement may have cost Monaco their star striker Radamel Falcao, as the new Manchester United recruit readies himself for a battle to force his way into the starting line up.
At this stage we are all used to footballers getting paid mega wages with £100,000-a-week seen as living on the bread line by some of this elite band of atheletes . However the numbers coming out of French club Monaco would startle even football’s Ferrari driving superstars.
The story reported in The Star goes that, Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian billionaire, who bankrolls the Ligue 1 outfit is downsizing as he faces paying an absolutely stupendous £2.7 billion (yes billion!) settlement. This was the number that a Swiss court came up with when ruling on the Oligarch’s divorce from Elena, his wife of twenty years.
While the cash involved in keeping a toy like a football club on the French Riveria going is dwarfed by this staggering sum, the speculation is that the Russian is trying to take stock of his situation and is looking towards ‘simpler living’. Manchester United and Real Madrid are the beneficaries of the divorcee’s new found financial woes snapping up prized assets Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez respectively.
The club for its part have denied the departure of the Colombian duo has anything to do with the Rybolovlevs’ bind, citing pesky financial fair play rules, an inconvenient demand for £41 million from the French league authorities to compensate others who haven’t the luxury of operating a sympathetic tax free principality and a lack of sponsorship revenue.
Whatever the reason behind the sale, former United legend Paul Scholes is eagerly anticipating the striker putting on the famous red jersey believing he can fire them to a top 4 finish. He was quoted in The Independent as saying:
“When I watched Radamel Falcao play for Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco I saw a striker with excellent movement and a goalscoring record that is simply out of this world.”
But he added:
“I don’t think the league title is realistic but Champions League football is the aim. Now it is over to Van Gaal to shape the team,”
The Class of ’92 man however questioned what the line up would be arguing the attacking trio of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Falcao could not all be accommodated in the starting line up
“There is no way that Louis van Gaal can play Rooney, Robin van Persie and Falcao together. It will have to be two from three and which two it is hard to say as of yet.”
The captain’s armband and legendary status within the club gives Rooney an edge, likewise boss Louis van Gaal would be slow to axe Robin van Persie, his loyal servant from the Dutch national team set up, this leaves the Colombian ace in a battle to take the field every week unless Rooney assumes a more withdrawn role as been mooted.
Whatever the case all that will need to watch out in training as accidents can happen…
Dan O’Mahony, Pundit Arena.