By Khalis Rifhan
The destination of Atletico Madrid star striker Radamel Falcao has been the hottest transfer story of late, especially after the club's CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin indicated that they will not stand in the way of the Colombian international should he decide to move in the summer.
Speaking to Goal Singapore in an exclusively arranged interview, Gil Marin confirmed that the player was already deliberating on clubs and added: "There are many clubs that are interested in him and the club will allow the player to talk to anyone and we will respect any decision that he takes.”
When pressed on recent claims from Monaco, Gil Marin also insisted that no formal offers have yet been made for the player.
“Atletico have officially not received any offers for Falcao, be it from Monaco or Chelsea,” he stated sternly.“There are many clubs that are interested in him and the club will allow the player to talk to anyone and we will respect any decision that he takes.
“In the end, he is free to make his choice."When pressed on the alleged interest of Manchester City, the club’s majority shareholder refused to confirm nor deny the speculation, reiterating that he wants the player to make his own decision.
“I can’t comment on it," he said. "Let’s leave the decision to the player.”While there have also been reports suggesting that Atletico do not have full ownership of the star striker – Atletico allegedly sought help from a third-party investor when Falcao was signed from Porto – Gil Marin quashed the accusations.
“Yes, we fully own Falcao, 100% of it," he asserted to Goal Singapore in the private interview.
Speaking to reporters in Singapore on Monday, Falcao laughed off the link to French side Monaco.
"If you believe what is being reported, I have already signed for half the clubs in Europe: Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid," Falcao told reporters.
"Last year, before the (Europa League) final in Bucharest (against Athletic Bilbao), people said I was going to leave and that the club didn't have the budget to keep me.
"All I can say is that I have a contract with Atletico and everything else is speculation."Los Rojiblancosare currently in Singapore for a charity friendly match with a Singapore Selection side on Wednesday, and have been taking part in other activities since landing on Monday.
During the pre-match press conference, the media were prevented from asking coach Diego Simeone questions pertaining to Falcao's future with the club, and the player himself was kept shielded.