Guillem Balague says Radamel Falcao tried all summer to engineer a move to Real Madrid, before settling for Manchester United on Deadline Day.
The Colombia striker had been linked with a number of high-profile clubs including Manchester City and Arsenal, but had set his heart on the Bernabeu and tweeted '#HalaMadrid Dream come true' on his official account on Saturday evening before later removing the message.
Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Balague says Falcao’s agent Jorge Mendes had been desperate to offload the player to Real Madrid – but was unable to convince the European champions that he was a better option than Karim Benzema.
“Jorge Mendes tried all year, in fact the whole summer, to move him to Real Madrid,” he told Sky Sports News HQ.
“Real Madrid have been saying all along for the whole summer that they just weren’t interested in Falcao.
“They wanted a striker, but not somebody to be challenging Karim Benzema; they wanted somebody who was happy to be a number two – a Diego Lopez type of figure who would be happy to accept that there was a way of playing, Benzema would be the number nine and they could come on and do something in the second half of games.
“Chicharito fills that gap, but Falcao was never the kind of player they wanted. The fact Jorges Mendes hasn’t been able to get that deal done means that Real Madrid were never open to that possibility.”
Balague says Manchester United’s move for Falcao came at the last minute and that neighbours City had been the favourites to land the striker on Sunday.
However, he says Arsenal were never in the race to sign the forward, despite a perceived need to replace injured striker Olivier Giroud.
Balague added; “I never heard anything about Arsenal at all. I don’t think Arsenal were interested.
“They only wanted a central midfielder who could play centre-back and the budget they’ve got is £7million or £8million – and with that in mind, Falcao was never a possibility.
“In the case of Manchester City, it became clear that Alvaro Negredo was wanted by Valencia and the deal wasn’t done quickly because Valencia thought all along that City were waiting to see if they could replace him with Falcao.
“There were conversations between City and his agents and nobody could deny that, but when Manchester United came into the equation late on Sunday night they said yes to everything and the deal went through.”