at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Monaco – Monaco's billionaire Russian owner Dmitry Rybolovlev announced on Friday the signature of Colombia forward Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid in a deal believed to be worth around 60 million euros ($77 million).
“I would like to officially announce that Falcao has signed his contract,” Rybolovlev said through a French interpreter at an event celebrating Monaco's promotion to the French top flight next season with Prince Albert of Monaco and coach Claudio Ranieri also present.
Rybolovlev didn't give any details about the size of the transfer but media sources in France claim it is one of the largest, if not the largest in the country.
Falcao had a 60 million euro buy-out clause in his Atletico contract but some media sources claim the actual transfer fee is 45 million euros with the player due to pick up an annual salary of 14 million euros.
If those figures are accurate it would still make Falcao one of the most expensive buys in French football history.
The current biggest transfers were the 40-45 million euros Paris Saint-Germain paid AC Milan for Brazilian Thiago Silva and the 40 million euros they handed over to Sao Paulo for Lucas Moura.
Since being bought by the Qatar Investment Authority in 2011, PSG turned French club football on its head by bringing an until then unheard of and unrivalled spending potential into the country.
But Rybolovlev has already shown during the close season, since his side won promotion back to Ligue 1, that he is ready to compete with his chequebook.
“I want to thank all those who believed in our success,” continued the owner.
“Managing a club as important as Monaco is a great honour. I have an incredible feeling and great pride but this is just the beginning.”
Falcao arrived in the Principality on Monday night and undertook a medical on Tuesday while details of the deal were being finalised.
Since then the 27-year-old returned to Madrid, where he still has one last league commitment to fulfil with Atletico.
According to some sources Falcao has signed a five-year deal, although there is a get-out clause in a year's time if one of Europe's so called larger clubs, come in for him. – Sapa-AFP