Radamel Falcao remains on sidelines
Monaco striker Radamel Falcao appears set to miss a fourth successive Ligue 1 game even though the Colombian FA has denied that he injured himself on international duty.
Falcao, 27, has sat out the last three league matches with a thigh injury, which Monaco claim he picked up while playing for his country in a friendly against Belgium last month.
The problem did not prevent him turning out to face Netherlands five days later but did lead to coach Claudio Ranieri substituting the forward in the following league game against Nantes just after the hour mark.
The Italian justified the decision in his postmatch news conference by stating that Falcao had a thigh problem sustained during the international break.
However, Mauricio Correa, the Colombian FA press officer, told L'Equipe that Falcao "ended without any problem or any sort of injury against Belgium" and that "no official medical act was established at the end of the match concerned."
Correa added: "Do you think Carlos Ulloa, the national team chief doctor, would have given the green light to an injured player, even if only slightly injured, to play a second game four days later? It's impossible. Falcao or anyone else, without exception, would have been immediately sidelined and would have undergone tests before rejoining his club."
Questioned on Falcao's absence in the stands of the Stade Louis II for last Sunday's win over Ajaccio, Ranieri had stated he expected the striker, who is the club’s leading scorer in Ligue 1 with nine league goals this season, to re-join first-team training on Wednesday only for the former Porto and Atletico Madrid man to again be missing.
Though he signed a five-year deal only last summer, Falcao is the subject of intense media speculation linking him with a move to both Chelsea and Real Madrid. Monaco insist the player is not unsettled.