Atletico Madrid are set to offer Chelsea target Radamel Falcao a new contract to try and persuade him to stay at the Spanish club, according to TalkSport. It has long been reported that the prolific Colombian is Chelsea’s number one priority in the transfer market, with recent reports even claiming that the Blues were prepared to pay his €60 million (£48.3m) release clause.
A source is recently reported to have told ESPN, however, that Chelsea would not pay more than €35 million (£28.2m).
But, with Real Madrid also believed to be preparing an offer, Atletico are now said to be ready to extend Falcao’s deal by another year while also increasing his salary. The 26-year-old has been in scintillating form this season, scoring 10 goals in eight league appearances to help keep Atletico level on points with Barcelona atop La Liga.
If Chelsea are unable to get a deal done for Falcao then it is being suggested that they could swoop for Milan forward Alexandre Pato.The Brazilian has been severely hampered by persistent injuries since joining the Rossoneri in 2007. Yet, despite that record, the Blues are considering a bid for the 23-year-old, according to Italian publication Corriere dello Sport.
Chelsea’s need for a striker is clear, given Fernando Torres’ lack of form and only Daniel Sturridge as an established alternative.
The Blues are also said to be looking to Italy for defensive reinforcements. The agent of Genoa right-back Mario Sampirisi has claimed that scouts from both Chelsea and Manchester United have watched the 19-year-old in action.
"Chelsea and Manchester United interested in him? Yeah, they sent their scouts to follow him live but I don't know if they'll try to take him in January," Giuseppe Riso said, according to Sky Sports.
"Genoa do not want to sell. But I am not surprised that the Premier League clubs have their eye on him. Mario has the typical physique that British teams like.
"But also some Italian clubs are following him."
However, with Chelsea having signed Cesar Azpilicueta in the summer, a move for another right-back would appear unlikely at this stage.
Chelsea may soon need reinforcements on the other side of defense, though, with Ashley Cole’s contract due to expire at the end of the season.
Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have been linked to the 31-year-old, with Chelsea having a policy of not offering longer than one year deals to players over the age of 30.
Blues boss Roberto di Matteo has understandably revealed that he is eager for Cole to remain at Stamford Bridge.
“Of course I would like him to stay here,” Di Matteo said, according to the Daily Mail.
“That's something they have to sort out between the two parties, player and club. My recommendation, my wish is that he stays here.
“He's a fit boy, he plays every game or he can play every game so he has many years in front of him,” he added.
“There are ongoing negotiations with the club and that is something that he discusses with the club. My point is that I would like him to stay and be here with us.
“For me, he's one of the best left-backs in the world and a great asset for this team and club. He's very good defensively and offensively provides a lot of attacking options.”