Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao heads for moneybags Monaco in £51m deal – despite tax glitch

The Colombian had been courted by Chelsea and Manchester City

Paris Saint-Germain's financial hegemony in France might be over, because a new competitor has arrived.

AS Monaco's promotion to Ligue 1 has prompted a remarkable spending spree which, by the end of this week, will include the €60m (£51.3m) purchase of Atletico Madrid's Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, so coveted by Chelsea and Manchester City. The Porto pair Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez have already been secured for a reported €70m, along with veteran defender Ricardo Carvalho.

One year on from PSG's signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Lucas Moura, Ezequiel Lavezzi and others, the landscape of French football is being changed again. Only one French side has won the European Cup, but the country now has arguably the two richest clubs on the continent. Certainly the two billionaire-backed clubs dwarf far more traditional and well-supported French sides such as Marseilles, Lyons and Saint Étienne.

But while those teams were powerless to stop PSG running away with the domestic title, there is some resistance to Monaco's return to Ligue 1 next season.

The principality, of course, is a tax haven which is one of the reasons – along with the billions of Russian majority shareholder Dmitry Rybolovlev – why they are able to persuade very good players to join a team whose average attendance last season ranked somewhere between that of Southend United and Port Vale.

So the Ligue 1 clubs tried to restrict Monaco's entry to the top flight unless they moved their headquarters to France to register for French tax.

When the French Football Federation stepped in to mediate, they proposed that Monaco would not have to move to France if they paid €200m over the next seven years to make up for their lack of tax. But the club is now challenging this in the French courts as being contrary to the tax convention between France and Monaco made in 1963.

However it turns out, Monaco are seemingly here to stay. Sporting director, Vadim Vasilyev, said that they "want to build a beautiful team who play beautiful football" and they are certainly assembling a handy side. Moutinho, Rodriguez, Falcao and Carvalho are rather better players than most newly promoted teams can sign. They are closely associated with Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes. Given the money on offer, the location and the fact that Monaco will probably be playing in the Champions League in 2014-15, a few more will probably arrive soon.

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, coming to the end of his time at the Nou Camp, is likely to be the next to join after Falcao, and Eric Abidal could well go the same way. Mendes clients Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria have also been linked with a move should they be victims of the changes at Real Madrid this summer.

So Europe now has another financial giant, unimaginably wealthy thanks to a foreign owner. It may take a few years, but the top table of, first, French, and then Continental football, should make room for another diner.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Sudan, the last male northern white rhino
environmentThe death of a white northern rhino in Kenya has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth