Chelsea target Radamel Falcao has claimed that he will be staying put at Atletico Madrid until at least next summer. The prolific Colombian striker has been repeatedly linked to the Blues, who are thought to be keen to reinforce their attack in January transfer window.
But with Atletico enjoying an excellent season and lying in second place in La Liga, Falcao has revealed that he wants to remain at the Vicente Calderon for the time being.
“I recognize the great effort made by [Atletico president] Enrique Cerezo for me to stay at the club,” he said, according to Sky Sports.
"I thank God our results have been so positive and that we have done so well this season so far. My expectation is that I will be staying at the club until the end of the season."
The comments come after Atletico sporting director Jose Luis Caminero revealed how hard the club had worked to keep the 26-year-old at the club.
“You have to appreciate the efforts made by the club,” he stated. “It is difficult to keep a player of his class.
"But we have all benefited and are happy to have one of the best players in the world at this club.”
With Falcao likely to be unavailable next month, Spanish publication Marca reports that Chelsea have turned their attentions to Sevilla front man Alvaro Negredo. Indeed, the story states that negotiations are already underway for an €18 million (£14.75m) deal.
The 27-year-old has been a regular scorer for Sevilla since joining the club in 2009, however the La Liga side are believed to be willing to sell the player in order ease their debt.
Negredo has appeared 12 times for Spain, scoring six times, and was included in their squad for Euro 2012. The former Almeria man started in the semifinal against Portugal in preference to Chelsea striker Fernando Torres.
Chelsea could also be pursuing other options in attack, with the Sun reporting that Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis is a £10 million target. The 27-year-old has been in fine form this term , scoring 11 goals in 18 league appearances to help Lyon keep pace with Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
With Lyon going so well, it is perhaps unlikely that they will allow France international Gomis to leave in January, however.
In other news, the Independent reports that Chelsea have joined the race to sign Everton left-back Leighton Baines. It is widely believed that Ashley Cole will leave Stamford Bridge on a free transfer in the summer with the club unwilling to offer the 31-year-old longer than a one-year contract extension.
Baines, who is Cole’s understudy with the England side, is now said to be a £15 million target. The 27-year-old was strongly linked to Manchester United in the summer, although they are thought to have been deterred by Everton’s asking price. Paris Saint-Germain, who have also been linked to Cole, are also thought to be interested.
Everton would likely reject any attempt to lure Baines away in January, but a move next summer may be more amenable to a deal next summer.