Manchester United are cruising toward another Premier League title. Given the fashion in which they have pulled away from the pack, a lot of clubs would probably limit their offseason moves. That's not the way United operates, especially with Radamel Falcao potentially available.
Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail reports the Red Devils are joining the sweepstakes to land the dynamic Atletico Madrid striker ahead of next season. Chelsea and chief rival Manchester City are said to be the other clubs heavily involved in the process:
The Premier League leaders are ready to meet the £47m buyout clause in Falcao's contract by offering Atletico £27m cash plus Hernandez, who they value at £20m.
Although reports in Spain yesterday suggested that a down payment has already been made, it is believed that United's interest is still in its early stages.
If all three of those clubs get into a bidding war for Falcao, things could get extremely interesting over the summer. All of them would benefit from adding a player of his caliber and keeping him away from the other two is a major incentive as well.
Chelsea are still searching for a reliable striker to head their attack. Fernando Torres continues to fall well short of expectations, mostly due to an inability to find any level of consistency, and Demba Ba's production has slowed after a strong start with the club.
Manchester City kept their hopes of a miracle comeback alive by beating United on Monday. In all likelihood, however, they will be trying to win the title back next season after a second-place finish. Falcao would be a major piece in that process.
That said, United has the resources to compete with both clubs on the open market and adding Javier Hernandez to the mix would be an interesting X-factor. There's a strong chance "Chicharito" would excel with a club that could provide him with more consistent playing time.
It's something that might intrigue Atletico Madrid enough to give United the edge, at least early in the process.
Whether or not they value him at £20 million as the Daily Mail report states is unclear, but it's at least a reasonable starting point.
Furthermore, the entire Falcao situation should begin to heat up once the season comes to a close. It's setting up to become a gigantic summer story and it will only grow if all three clubs do indeed make strong pushes to land him.
The thought of United putting him together with Robin van Persie is probably already giving nightmares to other squads around the league, but there are still a lot of hurdles to clear before that becomes anywhere close to reality.