Chelsea Transfer Rumors: Falcao, Walcott, Paulinho And Benat Involved In Latest Speculation

 @JasonLeMiere
on January 04 2013 12:49 PM
Radamel Falcao
In-demand Radamel Falcao was presented with a special "Citizen Award" over Christmas in his native Colombia. Reuters

On the day that Chelsea confirmed the signing of Demba Ba, there have been further developments in the transfer saga involving the man believed to still firmly be on Chelsea’s radar as they look to boost their striking options.

Despite Ba’s arrival, it is widely reported that an interest in Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao remains, with a bid likely in the summer.

Chelsea are sure to be far from the only club interested in the prolific Colombian, however. Reports in Spain earlier this week suggested that Atletico president Enrique Cerezo had been caught revealing that a deal was already in place to see Falcao to rivals Real Madrid.

Cerezo, though, has come out and vehemently denied those suggestions.

“It's totally false that Falcao is linked to Madrid,” Cerezo said, according to Spanish publication AS.  “Falcao has a contract with Atletico Madrid and there's nothing more to say. It seems there is an attempt to destabilize Atletico.

“One thing is joking and another is talking about things that aren't true. I don't like the fact that you put words in my mouth that I haven't said. There's no need to talk about rumors or non-rumors, and the source of the rumor has to be identified so it can be put to bed."

For the remainder of January’s transfer window, Chelsea’s priority could well be focused on reinforcing the center of their midfield.

Perhaps the player most talked about to fulfill that requirement is Corinthians’ Paulinho. The Brazilian club, who last month beat Chelsea in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup, have said, though, that the 24-year-old will be staying put.

"Paulinho will not move from here, nobody has asked about him and we have no intention of selling," Corinthians president Mario Gobbi said, according to TalkSport.

Chelsea look set to be forced to spend big if they are to land another reported midfield target, Real Betis’ Benat Extebarria.

The 25-year-old has just 18 months remaining on his contract and has attracted the interest of both Chelsea and Manchester City, report Sky Sports. However, Betis manager Pepe Mel has said that Benat will not be allowed to depart unless his release clause is met.

“Benat's clause is €20 million (£16.2m) and he will only leave for €20 million," Mel said, according to Sky Sports.

"To sell him for anything less would be a disaster. The club must defend its position and Benat knows that. To be able to go the market and find a replacement, the only number is €20 million.

"He has one more year left on his contract and he can fulfill that."

A technically-gifted playmaker, Benat has already contributed four goals and five assists in La Liga this season.

Chelsea are also continuing to be mentioned as a potential destination for Arsenal’s Theo Walcott. Despite signs of late that the forward was set to extend his contract beyond the summer, the Sun claims that Walcott is no closer to signing a new deal.

The report lists Chelsea, along with Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City, as clubs that are continuing to monitor the situation.

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