Since Radamel Falcao destroyed Chelsea in the Uefa Super Cup on Friday with a stunning hat-trick, speculation has gone into overdrive about the future of the prolific Atletico Madrid striker. Chelsea has been linked to the Colombian for much of the summer as the Blues chased a replacement for Didier Drogba. In the aftermath of the Monaco showpiece, reports even suggested that the Blues had arranged a pre-agreement for Falcao to arrive at Stamford Bridge in January.
While those reports were denied, Falcao's father claimed that his son was keen on a move to England. Radamel Garcia was back in the news on Wednesday, revealing that Falcao has long had his heart set on a move to Real Madrid.
"His dream is to play for Real Madrid, he said, according to Sky Sports.
"Since he was a boy he's always wanted to play there. Other teams in Europe like Chelsea and Manchester City were interested in him. If he can't play for Real Madrid, he'll play for a team in England."
Garcia added that a departure from the Vicente Calderon could soon be agreed.
"Of course he wants to go to the 2014 World Cup, but most of all, he wants to go to Real Madrid--he will change teams at the end of the year."
Understandably, Falcao felt the need to mitigate his father's forthright comments and soon took to Twitter to stress his happiness at Atletico.
"Just so the whole world is clear: my dream is to win titles with Atletico Madrid and to qualify for the World Cup with Colombia."
It is a transfer saga that looks likely to run for some time yet.
Chelsea were also linked to Borussia Dortmund front man Robert Lewandowski during the close season. The 24-year-old scored 22 goals to help fire his side to a second-straight Bundesliga title last season before grabbing the opening goal in Euro 2012 for co-hosts Poland.
Lewandowski has said that he is open to a move away from the Westfalenstadion.
"I don't set myself any limits. I don't know what will be after this season," he said, according to the Daily Mail.
"I can't and don't want to rule out anything. This would not be professional."
The striker also revealed that he has not yet decided whether to extend his current Dortmund contract.
"I have another two years on my contract. This is a long time. I don't have to decide today if I extend it or not. But, like I said, I only concentrate on Borussia right now."
Chelsea could also soon be locked in a contract drama with one of their own stars. A report in the Sun on Thursday claimed that Ashley Cole was ready to leave the club after being offered just a one-year contract extension. TalkSport even allege that Cole is poised to reunite with former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti at big-spending Paris Saint-Germain.
The 31-year-old is in the final year of his current deal at Stamford Bridge and could negotiate a pre-contract agreement with another club in January before leaving on a free transfer next summer.
Those reports are quashed by Press Association Sport, however. Their sources claim that contract talks began over the summer and are still progressing smoothly.
While Chelsea would likely be reluctant to lose Cole, the same cannot be said of midfielder Florent Malouda. The France international has been left of the club's Champions-League squad and on Wednesday tweeted a picture of Chelsea's Under 21 complex, stating: "This is where I'll train for my last season with the blues!!!"
According to the Daily Telegraph, Malouda, who was linked with moves to France and Brazil over the summer, elected to stay at the club because he doesn't want to take a cut in his £80,000-a-week wages.