Radamel Falcao has been made available for sale by AS Monaco, increasing the likelihood that the Colombia international will join Real Madrid this summer. Following James Rodriguez's €90million exit to the Santiago Bernabeu, the decision to cash in on the center forward marks a turning point in Dmitry Rybolovlev's ambitious Monaco project.
The Russian billionaire bought into the Principality club in the winter of 2011, achieving promotion to Ligue 1 last summer before spending €130m on transfer fees alone to recruit Falcao, James and Joao Moutinho. Rybolovlev's restructured team finished second to Paris Saint-Germain on their return to France's top tier to qualify for the Champions League, yet the Russian's use of tax-free Monegasque salaries to attract such elite talent met significant resistance from the French league.
According to multiple sources, Rybolovlev has now decided to step back from the football club, instructing that its principal assets be sold in the current transfer market. It is understood that a combination of factors has led the businessman to take such action, including a failure to obtain Monaco's carte de séjour residency status. In May, a Geneva court ruled that Rybolovlev should pay $4.5 billion as a divorce settlement to his ex-wife.
Monaco were expected to spend aggressively again ahead of their return to Champions League competition, but, in allowing James to join Madrid following an outstanding World Cup and selling Emmanuel Riviere to Newcastle United, are running a summer-window transfer surplus of around €75m. The club also withdrew from the hugely lucrative four-year deal it had agreed with Victor Valdes, as the former Barcelona goalkeeper was unable to pass a physical examination.
Falcao signed from Atletico Madrid last summer on the understanding that he would be allowed to leave Monaco after a single season. His contract, however, does not include a buyout clause and a complicated round of negotiations over the fee were anticipated. The 28-year-old has already agreed to personal terms with Madrid, whose medical department has asked to see the striker back in competitive action following knee surgery before approving the transfer.