Manchester United swoop on Radamel Falcao as Europe splash the cash
Colombian becomes the latest big signing on a frenzied last day of summer transfer window
Agence France-Presse in Paris
Manchester United swooped from nowhere yesterday to make striker Radamel Falcao the surprise big signing on the last day of Europe's record-breaking summer transfer window.
British media said the Colombian would move from Monaco in a one-year loan that pushes United's spending since the opening of the transfer market on June 9 above £150 million (HK$1.16 billion).
United will pay Monaco a fee of €10 million (HK$101.7 million) for the loan and will have an option to make the deal permanent for €55 million at the end of the season, sources at Monaco said.
Teams from the top leagues in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France have laid out more than US$2.1 billion during the transfer window and the frenzied last day is likely to see the figure rise substantially.
Manchester United have been the single biggest spenders, ahead of Spain's Real Madrid.
United are buying Daley Blind from Ajax Amsterdam and have also brought in Argentine international Angel di Maria from Real Madrid for £59 million, Spanish international Ander Herrera, England defender Luke Shaw and another Argentine Marcos Rojo.
The arrival of 28-year-old Falcao sparked new moves around United, who have failed to win any of their first three games in the Premier League.
Real Madrid late yesterday confirmed the signing of Mexican international striker Javier Hernandez on a season-long loan from United.
"There is not a player in the world who can say they haven't dreamed about playing for Real Madrid," said Hernandez.
United's England striker Danny Wellbeck was also tipped to move during the day. Their Japanese striker Shinji Kagawa returned to former club Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.
Manchester City's England defender Micah Richards was in Italy for a medical with Fiorentina, the Italian side said. Chelsea's Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel has gone to AC Milan.
Italy's World Cup striker Alessio Cerci moved from Torino to Atletico Madrid, who have signed 10 players for their campaign to defend the Spanish title.
According to the Fifa Transfer Matching System, which monitors the global market, the big five leagues have already smashed the US$2.02 billion spent on last year's transfer market.
While spending is dramatically higher in England, Spain and to a lesser degree Germany.
According to Deloitte's sports business group, more than US$1.2 billion had been spent by England's 20 Premier League clubs up to Friday. That was already more than US$165 million above last year's transfer window and British media said the total figure would pass US$1.33 billion by the end of yesterday.
English clubs have spent about US$300 million on Spanish players. But Fifa said Spain's spending was closing on US$600 million and is three times higher than last year.