Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao is unlikely to join Manchester United permanently in the future after disappointing during his loan spellGetty

Argentina legend Diego Maradona has opened a scathing attack on Louis van Gaal for his treatment of Radamel Falcao, who was shunted to the bench for the major parts of the campaign, in spite the Colombian coming back into goal scoring for his national team in the international break.

The Red Devils signed Falcao on a season long loan from Monaco, but the striker has failed to get the ground running with his performance and is unlikely to have his contract renewed with the Red Devils at the end of the season. The Colombian was restricted by a myriad of knee injuries for which he lost a yard of pace and was eventually left on the bench for his profligacy in front of goal.

Wayne Rooney's form did the striker no favours, with the Dutchman obliged to give the England international an extended run in line with his brilliance in front of goal. In comparison, Falcao has found the net only four times all season and with Robin van Persie still out through injury, it was a risk Van Gaal could not take given how tight it is up there for a place in the top four.

Van Gaal is 'the devil'

Maradona was not willing to listen to any excuses and directly charged the Dutchman with wrongdoing against the South American striker.

"Van Gaal is not a nice guy," Maradona said when asked about the Dutchman's handling of Falcao. "Van Gaal is closer to the devil than anything," he added.

When asked about Falcao's form at United, he complained, "His time was cut short after the injury and he has to adapt to the move."

Meanwhile, United have hit upon a rich vein of form in the league, winning their last five games including important clashes against Tottenham and Liverpool which has made their position in the top four almost untenable.

But a slip up against Manchester City at Old Trafford can open the gates for Liverpool to come back into the mix, who are currently eight points behind in the race for Champions League qualification.