Louis van Gaal says the opportunity to sign Radamel Falcao was too good for Manchester United to turn down amid reports Manchester City and Arsenal rejected the chance to pursue the striker.
United sealed a dramatic deadline-day move for Falcao, who joined on loan for the season with a view to a 35 million-pound permanent move. The loan deal will cost United 20 million pounds in total, and takes their spending over 150 million pounds in this summer's transfer window as Van Gaal rebuilds a squad that is still seeking its first win of the season.
According to the Daily Telegraph, efforts by Arsenal and City to sign the player stalled after being told by Monaco and Falcao's representatives they would have to pay a 10 million-pound loan fee and the player's 18 million-pound annual salary, which equates to 346,000 pounds a week -- though United insist those wage figures are wide of the mark.
With Real Madrid also pulling out of the race, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward stepped up the club's interest on Saturday evening, striking a deal for a reduced six million-pound loan fee and reduced wages of 265,000 pounds a week, according to reports.
"I am delighted Radamel has joined us on loan this season," Van Gaal told the club's official website. "He is one of the most prolific goalscorers in the game.
"His appearance-to-goal ratio speaks for itself and, when a player of this calibre becomes available, it is an opportunity not to be missed."
Transfer window roundup
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- Transfer Centre: All the done deals
- Marcotti: Mind-boggling transfers
- Delaney: What did we learn on deadline day?
- Horncastle: European transfer grades
- Smith: Transfers more important than the game?
- Macintosh: We worship goals, not balance sheets
Falcao completed the move more than two hours after the transfer window had closed, with an official press statement issued at 1.30am BST after United were granted an extension by the Premier League.
"It's a dream come true to join a club like Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the world," said Falcao.
"I've always dreamt about playing for one of the truly great teams and winning lots of trophies. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you can't turn that down.
"I'm a huge fan of English football and watch it whenever I can. Now the reality is I'm going to play there."
Despite Real missing out on Falcao, with the European champions taking United's Javier Hernandez on loan instead, Cristiano Ronaldo hailed the move as a "fantastic buy" for his former club.
"He is very good player. I think Manchester did very well. I don't think he is the wrong type of player. He is a top player so I don't think it is a wrong buy," Ronaldo, speaking at a TAG Heuer event in Madrid, said.
"I think he will be a fantastic buy. Manchester have not started well, two points, so they need quality players and Falcao is a quality player."
The signing of Falcao comes as Danny Welbeck departed the club to sign for Arsenal on a four-year deal in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
United also announced the 14 million-pound signing of Daley Blind from Ajax late on Monday, with the 24-year-old telling the club's official website: "It is a real honour to sign for Manchester United. Louis van Gaal is a tremendously talented coach, I have worked with him at Ajax and also for the Netherlands national team and I cannot wait to work with him at the biggest club in the world."
Van Gaal believes the new signing can flourish at Old Trafford, saying: "He is a very intelligent and versatile footballer that can play in many positions. Daley is a great reader of the game, he has played under my philosophy over a number of years and he will be a great addition to the team."