Posted: Saturday December 29, 2012 7:40 AM

Falcao says he'll stay at Atletico Madrid

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -Colombia striker Radamel Falcao has no plans to leave Atletico Madrid, although he acknowledged Saturday he was filled with "pride'' by talk that several of the world's top clubs are interested in signing him next year.

Falcao's 17 goals this season has been a key reason why Atletico Madrid has kept pace with Barcelona at the top of Spanish standings. His goal-scoring prowess also has sparked rumors that several big-spending clubs, including Chelsea and Manchester City, would try to sign him as soon as January.

But at a Dubai football conference, Falcao said he was "very happy'' at Atletico and planned to see out the remaining three years of his contract.

He transferred to Atletico from FC Porto in the summer of 2011 for ?47 million (then $67 million), with the club using the funds earned for the sale of Sergio Aguero to Manchester City.

"I have had a great season with my squad and my aim is to finish this year properly. I don't know what will happen in future,'' Falcao told the conference. "I feel pride to learn that the work I've been doing is acknowledged by other clubs. Having said that, this is part of football and I'm very happy at my club.''

Atletico Madrid Chairman Miguel Angel Gil Marin ruled out selling Falcao in the January transfer market but said that could change this summer if the Columbian receives offers significantly more lucrative than his current deal.

"I prefer he remains with me at the end of the season,'' Gil Martin said. "But it's like you. If you received a proposal that was seven times more than your salary at another newspaper, I'm sure you will decide to go. I can't forbid for Falcao to increase his salary, to improve his way of life. I'm only the manager of the club, not the owner of the man.''

Falcao led Atletico to the Europa League title last season, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the final. The Colombia striker had previously helped Porto win European football's second-tier competition the year before.

 
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