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Manchester United agreed to pay Monaco £4m for 'phantom' friendly, alleges Football Leaks

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 20/11/2018 James Ducker
a football player wearing a red shirt: The deal was allegedly part of Radamel Falcao's loan move to Old Trafford - PA © PA The deal was allegedly part of Radamel Falcao's loan move to Old Trafford - PA

Manchester United agreed to pay Monaco €4.5 million (£4.01m) for a “phantom” friendly as part of the loan deal that took Radamel Falcao to Old Trafford, according to latest Football Leaks documents.

United wanted to pay €4 million (£3.56m) of the €10 million (£8.91) loan fee for the Colombia striker as an amount conditional on the club finishing in the top four in the 2014-15 campaign.

But since French league rules prohibit such bonus payments it is alleged that the clubs came up with an alternative agreement that involved United signing two contracts with Monaco on the same day in Sept 1, 2014.

The initial contract covered the €6 million (£5.35) loan fee for Falcao.

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And the French website Mediapart claim that a second contract was drawn up in which United agreed to pay €4.5 million (£4.01m) to play a friendly against Monaco in July 2015 provided the club finished in the Premier League’s top four, which they would later achieve, and, with it, Champions League qualification.

That contract is also reputed to have stated that €4 million (£3.56m) of the match fee would be paid even if the friendly did not take place, provided United finished in the top four.

Monaco's Radamel Falcao © getty Monaco's Radamel Falcao

It is reported United ended up cancelling the friendly on May 27, 2015 in an official letter sent by then club secretary John Alexander because the club were touring the US that summer and manager Louis van Gaal did not want any more friendly games after the tour.

According to the leaks, Monaco then submitted United a bill for €4 million (£3.56m) and requested it be paid before June 30, 2015. Falcao scored just four goals in 29 appearances during his one season at Old Trafford before moving to Chelsea on loan the following season.

United declined to comment when asked about the matter on Monday. Monaco told Mediapart that their contracts “all comply with the applicable law”.

Radamel Falcao © getty Radamel Falcao Meanwhile, the Uefa president, Aleksander Ceferin, has dismissed any chance of the proposed Super League breakaway, also alleged in the Football Leaks series.

"The Super League will not happen," he told BBC Sport. "It is in a way a fiction now or a dream."

Andrea Agnelli - chairman of Juventus, who were named with five Premier League clubs and other major European teams - added: "I can confirm we have never seen, never discussed, never been involved in the creation of this document. We are fully engaged with Uefa in shaping the game going forward."

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