Chelsea are prepared to make Radamel Falcao the club’s top earner with wages of £200,000 a week in order to lure the Atletico Madrid striker to Stamford Bridge, according to the Daily Mail.
The deal would eclipse the £175,000 reportedly paid to Fernando Torres, who, ironically, Falcao would replace in the Chelsea lineup. Torres has struggled since joining the Blues for £50 million in January 2011 and, although he has now scored five goals in his last three appearances, Chelsea are said to be desperate to land Colombian Falcao.
If the Blues are to secure the 26-year-old in the January transfer window then they are likely to need to pay up his buyout clause of €60 million (£48.8m). It would then be a matter of convincing Falcao to move in midseason, while Atletico are still challenging at the summit of La Liga.
It could be a busy New Year for Chelsea, with the Guardian reporting that the club may bid for Arsenal’s unsettled winger Theo Walcott. The 23-year-old is out of contract in the summer and Chelsea will apparently test Arsenal’s determination to hang on to the player and risk losing him for nothing next summer.
Walcott turned down a contract offer from Arsenal in August and has said that he wants assurances that he will be deployed in his favorite position as a striker. Given the interest in Falcao and the continued presence of Torres, it is difficult to see how Torres will be played in that role at Stamford Bridge. However, the fact that Walcott would not have to relocate with a move across London could be a factor in his decision.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Juventus are also reported to be interested in Walcott.
In some of the week’s more outlandish speculation, the Daily Mail links Chelsea with a move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the wake of reports over a dispute between the enigmatic front man and his club Paris Saint-Germain.
Ibrahimovic is believed to have missed training at the Ligue 1 side after being refused the right to park closer to the training ground. The Swede only joined big-spending PSG from Milan in the summer in a deal that is believed to make him one of the world’s highest paid players.
Another reported Chelsea forward target has said he has no plans to move clubs in January. Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic is believed to have been pursued by the Blues as well as a host of other top clubs for some time.
However, he has revealed that he is happy to remain at the Florence club, who currently sit sixth in Serie A, just four points off a qualifying spot for the Champions League.
"Do I dream of playing for a bigger club? It's better to say not too much,” he said, according to the Sun.
"Generally, I do not think too much about what will happen in the future.
"If something has to happen, it will happen anyway. It's up to me only to work and devote myself to soccer
“I’ve been here five years and I’ve learned the language and local habits and even if going abroad would be a new challenge I would like to stay in Italy.
“I’ve had offers but I wanted to stay and I did, also because the president promised to strengthen the squad and fight for the Champions League, both promises which have been kept.”