ST Exclusive: Ronaldo to retire in Madrid, Falcao set to quit Man Utd, says agent Mendes

The two biggest stars in Jorge Mendes' stable of football talent are likely to have contrasting futures: One is set to finish his career at his dream club, while the other is almost certain to leave at the end of what has been a season-long nightmare.

Super-agent Mendes believes three-time World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo will retire at Real Madrid but striker Radamel Falcao is on course to ditch Louis van Gaal's Manchester United revolution.

"Cristiano is in love with the city of Madrid and is very happy at the club - his career will close there," Mendes, 49, said during an exclusive interview with The Straits Times at The Capella Singapore on Thursday.

In town for a business trip, the Lisbon native was less certain about the future of Colombian hotshot Falcao. On loan at Old Trafford from French club Monaco, the 28-year-old has recovered from a cruciate knee ligament injury but has been limited to 13 league appearances, netting three times.

On whether the sharpshooter will continue to don United's No. 9 jersey next season, Mendes, whose A-list clientele also includes Angel di Maria, James Rodriguez and Diego Costa, said: "I don't know. Falcao is 100 per cent fit but not getting a chance to play regularly.

"If he plays five to six games in a row, then people will see he is one of the best strikers in the world.

"His dream is to stay at United but if that doesn't happen, for sure he will play for one of the most important teams next season - every club wants a player like Falcao." 

Mendes, who has won five successive Agent of the Year accolades at the Global Soccer Awards, points to the absence of Alex Ferguson in the United hotseat as a prime reason behind Falcao's apparent struggles.

He said: "At the moment, United have a fantastic team but with Sir Alex, it would have been different for Falcao. He would always be in the team and scoring goals."

Having signed off on nearly all of last summer's blockbuster deals, including Angel di Maria's £59.7million (S$122 million) move to Old Trafford and Real Madrid’s £71 million purchase of Rodriguez, Mendes is already planning for the future.

"The January window is not the same (in terms of big-money transfers). I'm preparing for this summer. Stay tuned, there could be some major moves."

*Please read The Sunday Times on Feb 1 for Sanjay Nair's exclusive interview with Jorge Mendes, the super football agent behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa.