Real Madrid could still make a move for Radamel Falcao this summer, despite handing Karim Benzema a new five-year contract.
France international Benzema scored 24 goals in 52 appearances for Los Blancos last season, as Carlo Ancelotti led the Spanish giants to a 10th European Cup success when they beat their capital rivals in the Lisbon final. The former Lyon hitman went on to enjoy an impressive World Cup Finals for Les Bleus, scoring three times in five matches as Didier Deschamps’ side reached the last eight in Brazil.
Benzema entered the summer with just 12 months remaining on his contract at the Bernabeu, and this had resulted in speculation linking him with a number of clubs. As well as Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool, Italian champions Juventus were also said to be monitoring his situation. However, earlier this week it was confirmed that the 26-year-old has agreed a new deal to keep him at Real until 2019.
This immediately cast doubts over Ancelotti’s supposed interest in Falcao, who has only just recovered from a cruciate ligament injury which ruled him out of the World Cup. The Colombian spent last season at Monaco, who paid £51million to take him from Atletico Madrid last summer, but he is believed to be open to the idea of quitting Ligue 1 in order to join a leading club from one of the major European leagues.
And according to the Daily Mail, Real remain in pole position to sign the 28-year-old despite tying Benzema to a new contract. Such a transfer would be yet another statement of intent from the European champions, who have also paid over £60million for Falcao’s compatriot and former Monaco team-mate James Rodriguez, whilst German star Toni Kroos has joined from Bayern Munich for £24million.
Such an outlay has possibly even cast a shadow over Barcelona, who stole the early summer transfer headlines by taking Luis Suarez from Liverpool for £75million. This could yet prove a double-tonic for the Camp Nou giants, and the Daily Mail claims the Reds could rival Real for the signature of Falcao. However, it is suggested Brendan Rodgers wants the former Porto man on an initial loan spell for a season, which would cost £10million, whereas the Bernabeu club are willing to pay for a permanent deal.