Manchester United Radamel Falcao Marcos Rojo
Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao was interested in a move to JuventusReuters

While there were quite a few rumours linking Radamel Falcao to the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea in the summer transfer window, before Manchester United swooped in, it was actually Serie A champions Juventus who were the closest to the Colombian's signature.

Manchester United completed the signing of Falcao on a season-long loan from Monaco at the last possible minute, in what was seen as a major coup and a statement of intent from the former 2012-13 English Premier League champions.

And it was not Arsenal or Manchester City that United beat for Falcao's signature, but Juventus, who thought they had the striker's signing sealed before Louis Van Gaal and co. swooped in.

"We were very close to Falcao, as the player wanted to play in Italy and for our club," said Juventus director general Beppe Marotta to RAI.

"However, then Manchester United stepped forward, and as they have more spending power the deal fell apart."

Falcao missed the heavyweight Premier League game against Chelsea on Sunday, with the striker unable to recover from a knock picked up in training.

Manchester United created a few chances during the course of the 90 minutes, and had Falcao been there, the result could have been different from the eventual 1-1, which only came courtesy a stoppage time equaliser from Robin Van Persie, after Didier Drogba had given Chelsea the lead.

Van Gaal was quick to play down reports of Falcao's injury being serious, especially since the 28-year-old only recently recovered from a serious problem.

"Falcao took a kick in training on Thursday and couldn't play because of that," van Gaal told MUTV after the game on Sunday. "We'll have to wait and see, but I don't think the injury is too bad, today's match came too soon for him."

Phil Jones was another player who was ruled out just before kickoff for Manchester United, with the defender's injury revealed to be of a more serious nature.

"Jones has shin splints, so we'll have to wait and see because it's not too easy to recover from," added the Dutchman.

Van Gaal has already had to deal with way too many injuries to his defence this season, and Jones' latest problem just adds to the woes at the back for Manchester United.

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