Manchester United has every chance of being the team that Radamel Falcao joins for next season. Despite speculation in recent months linking him with Chelsea and even with Real Madrid, the fact is that the Old Trafford club is the best placed to sign the Colombian forward. Sources close to both parties suggest that a down payment may have already been made as a guarantee for a future transfer. This has led bookmakers like Paddy power to slash their odds on him joining United.

This sequence of events is nothing new. The same thing happened two seasons ago, when David de Gea left the Vicente Calderón to become a Red Devil. The deal between the clubs had been finalised months before, no matter how much the general public and the keeper himself said otherwise. In fact, Atlético had already pocketed a large part of the total fee paid by United. In this case however, the sums in question are going to be much bigger. De Gea left for about €20m, whilst Falcao could set United back over €50m.

One of the matters still to resolve is that of the last instalment of the €40m agreed at the time and still owed by Atlético to Porto. However, in no case will Falcao’s €60m buy-out clause – inserted into the contract tying him to the club until 2016 – be paid.