Record-signing Radamel Falcao will miss Monaco’s Ligue 1 trip to Guingamp on Saturday, Coach Claudio Ranieri revealed on Thursday.
The Colombian hit-man has missed Monaco’s last three matches, meaning he has not played since being substituted in the 1-0 win over Nantes on November 24.
He is suffering from a hamstring niggle but rumours are rife in the French press that all is not well between player and coach, something both have denied.
“I’m very happy at Monaco,” Falcao said in French at an improvised press conference at the club shop, where he was signing autographs.
“My wife is very happy to live here. There’s no problem with the coach, no problem with the doctor and no problem with the team.
“I’ve just got a little problem with a (hamstring). But I’ll soon be playing again.”
Earlier, Ranieri had announced the 27-year-old’s comeback was on hold again.
“He won’t play against Guingamp. He and I hope he’ll be present for the match against Valenciennes (on December 20),” said Ranieri.
Every week, though, the Italian has claimed Falcao is close to a return, only for him to be ruled out.
After the 1-0 win at Ajaccio on Sunday, Ranieri had said he thought his €60-million signing would be fit on Saturday.
But Monaco released a statement explaining that he was continuing “treatment on the muscular discomfort (scarring of an old tear to the hamstring of the right thigh) which remains painful.”
“The improvement is progressive but will not allow participation in the next match,” added the statement.
Earlier that day, French sports daily L’Equipe claimed the case surrounding Falcao’s injury was a “mystery” while adding that his absence from the pitch was “unexplained” and that the club were being “silent” about his injury.
It continued, saying “all (the elements) are there to create a problem around Radamel Falcao”.
As well as Falcao himself, France international midfielder Jeremy Toulalan also rubbished the rumours.
“What’s being said about him, I don’t think it bothers us or worries us,” said the 30-year-old.
“And we’ve shown that. I’ve been through it myself. The most annoying thing is for him. The most bothered is him. He’d like to be playing. But we’re continuing to advance without him, even though surely it would better with him.
“As soon as there’s a little thing you (the media) plunge into it. I don’t have the impression that there’s any problem. But even if I say that, you’ll keep going. That’s the game. For us, there’s no problem.
“I’ve had injuries like that. You feel like you’ll never get over it and you do everything to do so.
“The most important thing is that he comes back on top form because we’re going to need him over the course of the season.”