Atletico puts price on Radamel Falcao
Despite reports that Atletico Madrid is trying to hold on to Radamel Falcao, GM Miguel Angel Gil Marin put a price on him Tuesday, saying that if Atletico doesn't get into the Champions League, the team can't afford Falcao.
"Falcao's €60 million ($77.2 million) would solve a lot of our economic problems," Gil Marin said on Spanish radio station COPE, while insisting that Falcao will finish the season with his team. "With security (he will). Him and all the players the coach wants will stay."
"If Atletico doesn't get into Champions and can't pay what Falcao is asking, I don't think that Madrid can cover it."
Meanwhile, Falcao said he doesn't think Atletico has a chance to win La Liga, despite the fact that they are even with Barcelona at the top of the standings after Sunday's 2-1 win over Malaga. Falcao said he is shooting for Champions.
"No, Champions is our goal," Falcao told El Tiempo newspaper in Colombia this week as he prepares for his home country's World Cup qualifier vs. Paraguay. "We have the capacity to do it. Now in the league we are battling teams with greater budgets that are very superior to the rest of La Liga and who have the best players in the world. You have to be very consistent all year to fight against them. We worry about beating the rival we have each Sunday and then we are closer to the end of the season."
Atletico's financial struggles reflect those of Spain in general, and the club owes an estimated $441 million to the Spanish tax authorities and prize money withheld by UEFA because of a failure to make repayments. Falcao has been linked to Real Madrid and Chelsea in transfer rumors for the upcoming window.
Falcao signed for Atletico for €40 million ($50.7 million) from Porto in the summer of 2011. Gil Marin suggested earlier this summer that he would be sold at some point given the club's precarious financial situation.