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Could United's Premier League rivals poach their star striker?

Hopefully this isn't Carlos Tevez all over again.

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

An alarming report came courtesy of Duncan Castles in the Sunday Times (£) yesterday, with Manchester United's Premier League rivals reportedly ready to pounce on Radamel Falcao at the end of the season.

Castles claims that Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have all made inquiries, and though reports in the Spanish media a few weeks ago suggested United would convert Falcao's loan move into a permanent one, Louis van Gaal doesn't seem to be taking the bait.

Indeed, van Gaal hasn't exactly been too kind to the attacking star, making a series of thinly-veiled criticisms about his lack of pace, and one totally explicit one in omitting him from the squad that lost miserably to Southampton a couple of weeks ago.

Let's hope this scenario isn't a repeat of the Carlos Tevez saga from a few years ago, when the Argentine spent an excellent couple of seasons on loan at Old Trafford before subsequently rejecting the offer of joining on a permanent deal in favour of joining cross-town rivals Manchester City instead. As if we all needed reminding.