Monaco sign Falcao from Atletico
Monaco have announced they have clinched the signing of Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid in a Ligue 1 record deal worth a reported €60 million.
Falcao, 27, travelled to the principality at the start of the week for a medical and to thrash of personal terms with the striker reportedly receiving a €14 million annual salary after tax on a five-year deal.
Monaco said on their official website: "Monaco are happy to announce we have reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid and the player Radamel Falcao for the transfer to Monaco beginning with the season 2013-14. The Colombian international striker has signed for five years."
The principality club's owner, Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, also confirmed the deal during pre-planned end-of-season festivities on Friday evening.
"We're very happy Radamel Falcao has chosen AS Monaco for the future. It's a source of pride for us to be able to count on one of the best players in the world in order to get ASM FC back to its rightful place," Rybolovlev said in a statement.
Falcao will be presented to the media upon his return from holiday, the date for which has yet to be decided but it will be when the players report back for pre-season training.
The striker also confirmed the move on his Twitter account:
I want to share with you that I will be player of @asmfc_monaconext season. I'm eager to start this challenge! I count on you support!— Radamel Falcao (@FALCAO) May 31, 2013
The transfer fee far exceeds the €42 million plus €7 million bonus PSG paid AC Milan for Thiago Silva, and the €45 million Monaco themselves paid Porto for Falcao's compatriot, James Rodriguez, 21, only last week.
It is unclear whether or not he will play for Atletico in their final match of the season at relegation-threatened Real Zaragoza on Saturday evening.
Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri, who guided the club back to the top flight, could scarcely conceal his delight.
"I'm very happy he's coming. We want to build a very good team around him. Falcao's a fantastic player," the former Chelsea boss told AFP. "He plays for the team, but he is also very present in front of goal, he's very impressive."
Ranieri added Monaco's ambitious plunge into the transfer market in the last week also helped explain what appeared at the time to be an eyebrow-raising decision to join the then-second division strugglers in the summer of 2012.
"When I arrived at the club, I knew the project. Now, everyone understands my decision."
While the transfer fee is thought to be a record sum for the French top flight, Monaco are staying tight-lipped over the financial details of the deal until their dispute with the French Football League over their tax status is resolved.
"We won't give details for the moment on the content of the contract because we have a case on-going. We'll give them afterwards," vice-president Jean-Louis Campora explained.
Falcao has scored 16 goals in 44 appearances for Colombia, and after spells with River Plate and Porto he joined Atletico Madrid in summer 2011.
He proved his prowess in the Primera Division and also had success in European competitions with Atletico. He won the Europa League with the Spanish capital club in 2012, having triumphed in the same competition with Porto 12 months earlier.
He scored the only goal of the 2011 final as Porto beat Braga, and netted twice in Atletico's 3-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in 2012.
Falcao has already scored a fine hat-trick at Monaco's Stade Louis II home, as Atletico beat Chelsea 4-1 in the UEFA Super Cup last August.
He joins Rodriguez, Joao Moutinho and Ricardo Carvalho as summer additions to Claudio Ranieri's squad and could soon be joined by a fifth.
French media reported Valenciennes centre-back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, 21, was undergoing a medical at Monaco with a view to a €4 million move.
Valenciennes president Jean-Raymond Legrand, who was in Monaco on Wednesday, had declared in Friday's L'Equipe that he was hoping to sell his highly-rated defender quickly in order to balance his club's books.
Also, French news agency Agence France Press has reported Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes will also be in Monaco on Tuesday to discuss a possible move, though he may yet stay at the Camp Nou for the final year of his contract.