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The striker offers little response when asked about a return to La Liga and says that he is not surprised at how Atletico Madrid have launched a title challenge this year

Monaco forward Radamel Falcao refuses to be drawn on a future transfer to Real Madrid as speculation continues to link him with a return to La Liga.

The striker left Atletico Madrid in a deal worth an estimated €60 million (£49.7m) and was having a solid first season in Ligue 1 before a knee injury in January ended his club campaign and made a World Cup appearance with Colombia look extremely unlikely.

Falcao has been living back in the Spanish capital while he tries to recover in time for the tournament and Los Blancos fans have been pleading that he join them but he says that his sights are set on Champions League football with Les Rouge-et-Blanc next year.

"Football fans I've spoken to in Madrid have been wishing me a swift recovery and say they hope I go to the World Cup," the striker told Marca.

"Some people ask if I will join Real Madrid but these are just opinions. Anyway, I tell them my only concern right now is to recover soon.

"I am realistic, I am aware of my injury and I just want to recover to play with my new club, Monaco and, if we qualify for Champions League in France, I want to be ready for next season. "

The 28-year-old, who spent two years impressing at the Estadio Vicente Calderon following his move from Porto in 2011, says that Atleti's storming 2013-14 season has not come as a shock to him but suggests that even he did not expect them to lead La Liga with seven games to go.

"Maybe I didn't expect them to be this strong and so firmly in control," he added. "Yes we knew the team, in its third year together and secure with Diego Simeone, would be stronger.

"But for them to fight him on level terms with Madrid and Barca, who have a vastly bigger budget, I don't think anyone this was possible. What they are doing is admirable under Simeone but I'm not surprised. I knew they had the potential."

Falcao tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee but remains hopeful that he can be fit five months on from his January injury instead of the usual six-to-seven month recovery period.

"It's a special case," the Colombian continued. "I am very optimistic about the response of my knee.

"However, it would be very premature to say today whether or not I'll be at the World Cup. There are many days left before a final decision needs to be made."

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