Radamel Falcao has revealed his move to Manchester United nearly fell through as the club just about got the deal over the line before the transfer deadline passed.
The Colombian international completed his sensational move to Old Trafford in a frantic conclusion to the summer transfer window, joining the club on a season-long loan deal with the option to buy next summer.
Despite interest from Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid, United emerged as favourites to sign the Monaco forward during the afternoon on 1 September but it wasn't until two-and-a-half hours after the window closed that the club confirmed the move.
Falcao's delayed arrival in Manchester and a looming deadline made for a tense evening and the player admits there were moments where he was unsure whether the deal would go through.
"No one has the idea of the stress I experienced at the time," Falcao told the Colombian media, relayed through United's official website.
"The transfer almost wasn't achieved but thank God we had an additional hour and then it occurred.
"The first impressions that I took made a great impact on me. Manchester United is a great institution that lacks nothing and I am happy to have taken this step."
Falcao made three appearances for Monaco – scoring two goals – before making his switch to Manchester, the only football he has played since suffering the cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out of Colombia's World Cup campaign.
The 28-year-old will feature for his country in a friendly with Brazil on Friday 5 September, where he will hope to claim some small revenge following Colombia's World Cup elimination at the hands of the hosts.
"I am very happy and excited to return to the team," he said. "The hard times have made me grow as a human being and today I appreciate very much my life in football. I am very confident, I have scored goals again [for Monaco] and now I just want to play."