News coming in from Italy suggest that Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, who is currently on a season-long loan at Manchester United, was very close to signing for Italian champions Juventus in the summer.

Juventus director Beppe Morata revealed that contact had been made with Falcao’s agent and that the player himself had expressed a desire to join Juventus.

Morata said that the Colombian wanted the “privilege” of playing for the Old Lady, reports The Express.

Speaking to RAI programme La Domenica Sportiva, Morata said: “We were very close to Falcao, as the player wanted the privilege of playing in Italy and our jersey.

But Manchester United stepped up their interest in Falcao and offered him higher wages, which eventually led to Juventus withdrawing their interest.

“However, then Manchester United stepped forward and they have more spending power, so the deal fell apart,” said Morata.

Falcao was part of the big-name signings done by Manchester United in the summer transfer window, as the English giants look to find their way back to the top of the English Premier League.

Falcao has yet to settle in at Old Trafford after recovering from a serious knee injury, and only has a solitary goal to his name so far this season.

The Colombian scored against Everton at the start of the season, but found himself on the bench against West Brom. Recently, a knee injury in training forced him to sit out the 1-1 draw against Chelsea, a fixture he would have been looking forward considering his scoring record against the London club.

With Robin Van Persie still struggling to find his form, and Wayne Rooney returning from a three-match suspension, the onus is on the Colombian to cement his place in the side.

Manager Louis Van Gaal’s penchant for fielding two strikers could also work in the Colombian’s favour, and with playmakers of the quality of Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata creating chances, Falcao will be looking to find his touch and justify his signing.

The club have an option to sign Falcao permanently at the end of the season, but it remains to be seen whether they will exercise that option.