Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is set to hand Jose Mourinho the incredible gift of Radamel Falcao if the Real Madrid boss agrees to return to Stamford Bridge for next season, according to German publication Bild.
With Rafael Benitez set to depart once the campaign is over, speculation has been mounting for some time about the identity of his successor. Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini has been linked with reports also suggesting that Mourinho could have a stunning reunion with the club that he led to back-to-back Premier League titles between 2004 and 2006.
It is already widely believed that Mourinho will leave Madrid at the end of the season.
Now Bild, which was recently proved correct with a report of Mario Gotze’s move to Bayern Munich, has claimed that Mourinho is almost certain to have a second spell in charge of Chelsea.
And, likely to excite Chelsea fans further, is the suggestion that Falcao will be provided to Mourinho as his first signing.
While Chelsea have long been linked to the prolific Atletico Madrid striker, the competition for his signature appears to have increased of late with Manchester United said to have joined Real Madrid and Manchester City in the hunt.
Spanish newspaper Marca recently reported that United were front-runners for Falcao, with there even being a suggestion that an initial payment may have been made.
Adding to the claims by Bild, CNN’s Italian sports correspondent Tancredi Palmeri has said on Twitter that Mourinho recently met with Abramovich and requested the signing of Falcao as one of the conditions of him taking charge.
The Colombia international will not come cheap with the player unlikely to be available for much less than his buyout clause of €60 million (£51m).
With that in mind, the Daily Mirror recently reported that Chelsea are prepared to use their Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois as a makeweight in their attempts to sign Falcao this summer.
Signed from Racing Genk in 2011, Courtois is in his second season on loan at Atletico Madrid and has been a big success. It is widely believed that their manager Diego Simeone would love to keep the 20-year-old at the club.
Chelsea are thought to see Courtois as a long-term successor to Petr Cech, but, such is their desire to land Falcao, that they may be willing to lose the player.
A striker is widely considered a priority for Chelsea this summer, with Fernando Torres potentially set to leave after an unhappy two-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge. Other strikers have also being linked to the club, including Napoli’s Edinson Cavani and Saint-Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.