Soccer

Atletico: Club to support Falcao's decision

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SINGAPORE (AP)

Atletico Madrid will not stand in the way of striker Radamel Falcao if he wants to leave the club this offseason, general manager Miguel Angel Gil Marin said Monday.

Marin said in Singapore that it's up to Falcao to decide whether to say at Atletico-the newly crowned Copa del Rey champions-but the club would support him no matter what he chooses.

''Before the start of the season we talked with (Falcao) and we promised him if he keeps the same performance and he helps us to arrive to the UEFA Champions League next season, Atletico will help to you,'' Marin said. ''Every decision he will take, Atletico will be with him.''

The 27-year-old striker has been linked with possible moves to Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, French side Monaco and Real Madrid.

Ahead of the Copa del Rey final on Friday, Falcao dismissed reports he was considering going to another team, saying he was focused only on winning a title for Atletico.

Marin said Atletico would find a way to replace Falcao's scoring if he does exit.

''Atletico knows how to change the good striker-Fernando Torres, (Diego) Forlan, (Sergio) Aguero, now Falcao,'' he said. ''I don't know exactly which will be the next one, but you can be sure Atletico will have a strong team next season.''

Atletico is in Singapore to play a charity match against a select Singaporean side just days after beating Real Madrid 2-1 to capture the Copa del Rey, ending a 14-year winless run against their crosstown rivals.

Falcao-nicknamed ''El Tigre,'' or ''The Tiger''-played a pivotal role for Atletico this season, scoring 34 goals in all competitions. He also set up Diego Costa's equalizer in the Copa del Rey final.

Atletico bought Falcao from FC Porto in 2011 in a Portuguese and club record transfer deal of 40 million euros.

Atletico will conduct a football clinic with Singaporean students on Tuesday and play a friendly against a local side on Wednesday night, with proceeds going toward a scholarship fund set up by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim to help young athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 



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