Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has suggested that he will attempt to lure Chelsea target Radamel Falcao from rivals Atletico Madrid.
At the AS Sports Award Ceremony on Monday night, Falcao was sat at a table with Perez and the Madrid president joked to goalkeeper Iker Casillas that “Now I'll pass the napkin to Falcao,” according to Spanish publication AS.
The comment was a reference to the method used to make initial contact with Zinedine Zidane before the French great joined Madrid from Juventus in 2001. Perez handed Zidane a napkin at the Balon d’Or gala reading “Do you want to play for Real Madrid?”
Both Real Madrid and Chelsea, along with Manchester City, have been cited as possible destinations for Falcao. But, as they currently lie in second place in La Liga, Atletico are unlikely to want to sell a man in midseason who has already struck 16 times in the league this season.
However, if a club matches the 26-year-old’s €60 million (£48.4m) buyout clause then it would be down to the player to decide.
Falcao’s latest comments intimated that he was happy to remain at Atletico for the time being.
I am enjoying myself here," Falcao told AS. "I have a three-year contract with Atletico.
"I dreamed of doing this, but I didn't know if I could. It has exceeded my expectations.
"I'm very comfortable here. It also helps a lot that we speak the same language. The Spanish, like Latinos, are very happy and I am grateful I can live here."
It is a similar story regarding another of Chelsea’s reported January targets, Marouane Fellaini. The Everton midfielder had previously hinted that he would be tempted by a move to a bigger club, but has now stated that wants to stay at Goodison Park.
“My head is exclusively with Everton—I’m saying nothing about all the rumors,” the 25-year-old said, according to the Daily Mail.
“Although I’m happy to be praised for my performances, my future is with Everton.
Chelsea have also been strongly linked with another midfielder in Corinthians’ Paulinho. The 24-year-old could well come up against the Blues in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup if both sides make it through their semifinals this week.
But the Brazil international has said he has no intention of moving to Stamford Bridge any time soon.
"I am at Corinthians, but I do not know what will happen in the future," he revealed, according to Calciomercatonews.com.
"I have heard many rumors about offer, but I do not think I'll move from this club. My desire is to stay here.
Chelsea are also taking a look at Sampdoria midfielder Pedro Obiang, according to the Daily Mail. The 20-year-old Spanish youth international arrived at the Italian side in 2008 having come through the youth ranks at Atletico Madrid.
Obiang, who has made 13 appearances in Serie A this season, is also reportedly interesting Manchester City and Tottenham as well as a host of clubs from across the continent. In November, Obiang’s agent, Jose Miguel Gonzalez, claimed that he was aware of the interest in the player, but that no discussions had yet been held with other clubs.