Chelsea are once again in pole position to sign in-demand Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao after Manchester City cooled their interest, according to the Sunday Mirror. The report claims that Atletico general manager Migel Angel Gil Marin and Falcao’s agent Jorge Mendes met with City’s new sporting director Txiki Begiristan last week but were told that the Premier League champions would not be making a firm offer for the prolific Colombian.
While the Mirror claims that the situation could change if City find a buyer for striker Mario Balotelli, the news, if true will come as a boost to Chelsea, who would doubtless have been loathed to get into a bidding war with City and their vast wealth. However, the Blues may still face competition from Real Madrid for Falcao’s signature.
Chelsea’s need for a striker has been exacerbated in recent weeks with Fernando Torres continuing to struggle to produce the goods amid the club going on a dismal run of two points from four Premier League games.
The Daily Mail reports that Torres could be left out of Chelsea’s crucial Champions League encounter against Juventus in Turin on Tuesday, further calling into question his future at the club. According to the Mail, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to dispense with the £50 million signing and now Torres is ready for a move back to Spain.
It is mooted that Torres could rejoin former club Atletico Madrid as part of a deal to bring Falcao to Stamford Bridge.
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That may not be the end of the strengthening to the Blues’ front line, with the Sunday People reporting that Abramovich is seeking to combine Falcao with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez in a new look Chelsea attack. According to the story, Abramovich believes Suarez can be tempted to Stamford Bridge if Pep Guardiola is appointed as manager.
The Chelsea manager’s job has come back into the spotlight of late with the pressure said to be mounting on Roberto Di Matteo following recent results.
Suarez has recently been linked with a big-money move to Manchester City, although Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has quashed talk of the Uruguayan leaving Anfield. The People claims that Liverpool will ask for £50 million for Suarez and that Abramovich is ready to pay that sum.
Particularly with Financial Fair Play rules set to be implemented it seems implausible that Chelsea will spend what would likely amount to close to £100 million on two forwards.
Some money could soon come off the Chelsea wage bill, with Ashley Cole linked with a January move to Real Madrid by the Daily Mirror. The 31-year-old left-back is out of contract at the end of the season and his future is in doubt due to Chelsea’s policy of not offering players over the age of 30 longer than one-year deals.
The move could make sense with Cole having reportedly remained close with Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho. Cole has also been linked with a reunion with another of his former Chelsea managers in current Paris Saint-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti.