In Brief

Falcao blasts 'fools' over claims of injury problems at Man Utd

The Colombian striker missed eight months with knee injury and is now sidelined with calf problem

Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao has rubbished claims that he has to ice his knee regularly in order to carry on playing.

The 28-year-old suffered a serious anterior cruciate injury in January, and The Guardian is among the papers to have claimed that the United forward is still feeling the effects. It was, says the paper the "third severe knee injury of Falcao's career and ruled him out for eight months". The absence meant Falcao missed Colombia's appearances in the summer World Cup finals in Brazil and only returned to action on 10 August when he scored in Monaco's 2-1 defeat to fellow French side Lorient.

On 1 September Falcao joined United on a season-long loan which earned Monaco an estimated £16m and confirmed the suspicion that Louis van Gaal was so concerned by the lack of world-class finishers in the squad he inherited from David Moyes he was prepared to take a punt on the injury-prone South American.

Falcao, who is earning £190,000 a week at Old Trafford, has admitted that the injury is never far from his thoughts, telling reporters that he had felt "nervous" about playing again after his knee problems. And according to the Guardian Falcao has "to ice his left knee following every training session and match to mitigate against further damage".

Though he said he felt in "spectacular" shape when he signed for United, so far Falcao's career has been anything but, and he has managed just one goal in five appearances. A calf injury has sidelined him for United's last three games and the Daily Mirror says that he has been omitted from Colombia's squad for their forthcoming friendlies as concerns grow that the injuries may be linked.

But he reacted angrily on Monday evening to the claims in the papers, taking to Twitter to rubbish the suggestions that his knee is still giving him problems. "One fool speculates. A few others lacking objectivity respond and millions believe lies," he thundered, adding: "It is disastrous what a few fools can do."

United will wait until the end of the season to decide whether to extend Falcao's contract, but the Guardian speculates that his injury problems could scupper a full-time deal.

Or is it already be too late? Goal.com reports that United "have already shaken hands on a deal with Monaco", one that would see the Red Devils part with £44m in June to secure the services of Falcao and his niggling knee.

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