Pursuit of Sterling and Falcao suggests an insane transfer window ahead
Daft Sterling, Falcao deals will be first of many idiotic buys
There was one shot on target in his last 12 Premier League games.
Radamel Falcao didn't fall from grace at Manchester United. He plummeted towards oblivion without a parachute.
The Colombian wasn't so much released by the Red Devils as he was euthanised, put out of his misery after four goals in 29 games.
The end of the road came in the ignominious setting of an under-21s fixture. His impact against Tottenham's kids was negligible.
That torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee ripped through his confidence and seemingly ended his sojourn in the Premier League.
Falcao had hit rock bottom.
No one expected him to be offered the hand of a champion.
But Jose Mourinho has pulled the Colombian free from the wreckage of last season, airlifting him to the safety of a title-winning squad.
Like Manchester City's endless stalking of Raheem Sterling, the deal makes little sense, but is perhaps representative of a transfer window for the insane.
With record TV revenues pouring into every Premier League boardroom, the desire to hoard the cash is surpassed only by the paralysing fear of losing it.
The big boys must stay in the top four.
The rest cannot be relegated from world football's most lucrative ATM.
Falcao's unlikely move to Stamford Bridge is indicative of a spending climate that is expected to pay less on vulgar transfer fees and more on loan deals and weekly salaries, effectively removing the selling club's cut and handing it straight to the middle name; the green-eyed agent.
In the case of Falcao, that would be Jorge Mendes. The world's most influential agent represents both Falcao and Mourinho, a worrying conflict of interest perhaps, but one that should not influence Mourinho's thought process.
However, the Falcao deal with Monaco, which is reported to be around £170,000 ($359,966) a week for the player and a £4 million loan fee, does hint at the Chelsea manager's irrepressible ego.
The man who admitted defeat with Mario Balotelli's inner demons believes he can resurrect Falcao's knee and the striker's shattered confidence, by playing both witch doctor and self-help guru.
Louis van Gaal is no slouch in the motivational department, but he failed to rediscover the forward who once stormed Europe with Porto and Atletico Madrid.
Mourinho is privy to medical reports that must suggest Falcao's knee can be salvaged, but the striker's lack of self-belief is another matter.
Chelsea's myopic pursuit of both Fernando Torres and Andriy Shevchenko, at the behest of the club's starry-eyed owner, proved to be costly, debilitating mistakes.
Apart from Didier Drogba, the Blues' track record of restoring vintage vehicles is less than stellar. Samuel Eto'o had his moments, but not enough to justify making him a permanent fixture at the club.
But Mourinho's restless ego requires constant massaging and the idea of a restoration project obviously appeals, a chance to polish a fallen icon before unveiling him as Diego Costa's support act.
Falcao's speed, physical presence and willingness to cover the kilometres make him the kind of No. 9 very much coveted by Mourinho, but the deal seems two years too late.
Sterling's impending deal, on the other hand, is very much in keeping with everything the impatient Liverpool winger does at the moment. It's impetuous and premature.
Based on his erratic performances and suspect temperament, the 20-year-old isn't worth half the £40 million Manchester City have dropped onto the negotiating table, let alone the £50 million that Liverpool are holding out for.
The ludicrous affair has a whiff of Andy Carroll, a dollop of Torres and a touch of Theo Walcott; i.e. it reeks of greed, panic and a promising English winger with an inflated opinion of himself.
City know they must pay a premium for homegrown talent. That's the unofficial rule between Premier League clubs, particularly City, who only have Joe Hart, Gael Clichy and Richard Wright left who qualify as homegrown players.
But Sterling can't shake off the scent of Walcott.
The Arsenal winger is 26 and still accused of not fulfilling his elusive potential.
Overburdened by the excessive hype that comes with wearing both EPL and Three Lions jerseys, Walcott and Sterling remain mercurial wingers with little of the consistency witnessed by their continental counterparts.
See Ivan Rakitic for the definition of a tireless, reliable continental man who delivers more often than the over-eager postman. He was signed by Barcelona for £12.9m, making him half the price of Sterling, but twice the player.
Insanity is already tightening its grip on the Premier League's transfer market.
So expect obscene amounts of cash to be handed over in the coming weeks. Just don't expect any common sense.
If I can help Falcao reach his level again, I will do it. It hurts me that people in England think that the real Falcao is the one we saw at Manchester United.
- Jose Mourinho on Radamel Falcao
He is definitely not signing. He’s not signing for £700,000 £800,000 £900,000 a week. He is not signing.
- Raheem Sterling’s agent Aidy Ward on his client signing a new contract with Liverpool
BY THE NUMBERS
1 shot on target
Radamel Falcao registered just one shot on target in his last 12 matches for Manchester United.