Fergie steps up move for £47m Falcao as Manchester United send chief scout to watch Atletico hitman score brace
Manchester United watched Radamel Falcao score twice for Atletico Madrid on Sunday night as Sir Alex Ferguson ponders a summer deal.
Sportsmail revealed last week that Ferguson is considering a £47million deal – that could involve Javier Hernandez as part of a swap – to land the Colombian hitman.
As United won 2-0 at Stoke, Ferguson sent his chief scout Jim Lawlor to watch Falcao strike a brace in their 5-0 thumping at home to Granada.
Wanted: Radamel Falcao (left) in action during Atletico Madrid’s victory over Granada
Star man: Falcao struck a brace in the triumph for Atletico at the Vicente Calderon
Lawlor is likely to return with glowing reports of a striker who is also interesting Chelsea and Manchester City, along with Europe’s big guns.
Manchester City and Chelsea have both been strongly linked with Falcao, who has established himself as one of the world’s most prolific marksmen by scoring 54 goals for Atletico since arriving in Spain from Porto in 2011.
But it is United have now joined the bidding for the 27-year-old Colombia star and are prepared to let striker Hernandez move to Madrid as part of the deal.
On his way? Javier Hernandez in action against Stoke on Sunday – but he could be off
Give us a hug! Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates with Robin van Persie during the win at Stoke
The Premier League leaders are ready to meet the £47m buyout clause in Falcao’s contract by offering Atletico £27m cash plus Hernandez, who they value at £20m.
If they were to land Falcao it would be a bitter blow to Chelsea, who thought they were winning the race to sign him, and City boss Roberto Mancini who believes Robin van Persie’s decision to choose Old Trafford over the Etihad Stadium last summer has been a key factor in this season’s title battle.
However, any club wanting to sign Falcao will have to resolve an issue of third-party ownership due to the fact that a company run by former United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon and agent Jorge Mendes has owned a stake in the player since helping to finance his £34m move from Porto.