Last week, AtléticoFans reported that Radamel Falcao’s stay at Atleti was going to come to an end this summer, according to a member of the Colombian’s social circle.
Other media even claimed that the top Rojiblanco goalscorer of this season was set to go to Ligue 1 club AS Monaco, and a deal had been wrapped up already.
Falcao subsequently dismissed the stories about the destination of his next career move. And after his team’s victory in the Copa del Rey final, he refused to be drawn out about his future.
But statements made by Atlético’s CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín this week suggest that it’s up to ‘El Tigre’ to decide whether he’ll leave after spending two seasons in Madrid.
“Before the season we spoke with Falcao and we promised him that if he helped us get into the Champions League, Atlético would help him. On the decision he makes, Atlético will be with him,” Gil Marín said in a press conference during the Colchoneros’ trip to Singapore.
He continued: “Atlético know how to replace a good forward — Fernando Torres, Forlán, Kun Agüero, now Falcao. I don’t know exactly who will be the next one, but you can be sure Atlético will have a strong team next season.”
However, the coming season’s team might not be quite as strong, since Sevilla striker Álvaro Negredo is one of the candidates to assume the red-and-white number nine shirt. His team are currently coping with major financial trouble, and they have to sell players to stay afloat.
Gil Marín declared on Thursday that the Andalusians’ forward is a target for the Rojiblancos. “There’s a serious possibility that Falcao could go, so I have to consult, ask questions, and talk to other chiefs,” he said.
He added: “Yes, I talked to [Sevilla chief] José María del Nido. I told him that we could part with Falcao and that we were thinking about Negredo. We agreed to talk after the season was finished [in June].”
Courtois to stay at Atleti for another year?
With a stunning goalkeeping performance in the final, Thibaut Courtois played a big role in Atlético’s conquest of the Copa del Rey, the third trophy they’ve won since his arrival.
The Belgian custodian has spent two very successful years with the Colchoneros, and in an interview this week with AS’ Dani Hidalgo, he made it known that he’d like to stick around for a third.
Atlético have been borrowing Courtois from Chelsea, where Czech goalie Petr Čech has been the undisputed first choice for nine straight seasons, and who is looking to continue for many more.
Wary of the prospect of competing with the experienced Čech, ‘Tibu’ said “If I’m not going to be a starter there, I prefer to stay here, without any doubt. I want to grow and be in form for the 2014 World Cup.”
He continued: “I much prefer being at Atleti and playing in the Champions League to playing in England for a team that’s fighting to be, I don’t know, eighth. Chelsea wouldn’t let me play for one of the higher-placed teams.”