It hasn't been a favourable transfer season for Chelsea, as yet. They haven't made any signings so far, while arch-rivals Manchester United have already bolstered their squad with three new signing and are on the verge of completing a deal for Wesley Sneijder.

And things don't look good for the Blues either. Their pursuit of Porto striker Radamel Falcao has come to an end after the Colombian extended his contract with the Portuguese champions.

Falcao had been linked with a move following Andre Villas-Boas to London after Chelsea appointed the 33-year-old as their manager. Falcao himself was believed to favour Chelsea and work with Villas-Baos again under whom he won the treble last season, while setting the goal scoring record of 17 in the Europa League.

Chelsea were willing to trigger the £26.5 million release clause in his contract as he was the top target of the new manager. However, the 25-year-old has now signed a new four-year contract with Porto, which has increased his release clause to nearly £40 million which all but ends speculation linking him elsewhere.

 

Chelsea

Chelsea are reportedly set to make a final offer in excess of £30 million for the midfield conjurer.

The Blues' other target, Tottenham's Luka Modric, saw his transfer request denied by the club on Thursday, with manager Harry Redknapp stating that, We know Luka wants to leave. Writing it down on a piece of paper doesn't make much difference to our stance.

However, Chelsea are understood to be encouraged by Modric's attempts to force a move and are reportedly preparing a third and final offer in excess of £30 million for the Croat. Their earlier bid - £25 million plus £2m performance related add-ons - was out-rightly rejected by their cross-town rivals.

If Tottenham do accept the offer, Modric shouldn't have too many problems agreeing personal terms as he will reportedly earn a massive £130,000-a-week in wages which gobbles up his current earnings of £45,000 per-week.

However, there is some good news for last season's Premier League runners-up. The Mirror has reported that Chelsea are on the verge of completing a £5 million signing of Genk keeper Thibault Courtois, which will make him the first signing of the Villas-Boas era. Courtois, 19, is highly-rated and is regarded as the long-term successor to Petr Cech at Chelsea.

The keeper earned around £80,000 a year at Genk, despite playing a key part in Genk's triumph in the Belgian league last season, and is set for a huge pay-rise at Chelsea.

Courtois told a radio station, It's wonderful that they (Chelsea) have such confidence in me and see me as the successor of Petr Cech. Chelsea has a great sporting level and I can grow at ease for a few years until I reach the first team.

This will not happen in a year or two, but three, four or five years. I might as well develop myself quietly.

Chelsea won a pre-season training game, behind closed doors, last week against Wycombe Wanderers. Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun scored in the 3-0 victory, but Wycombe's 18-year-old midfielder Kadeem Harris seems to have caught Chelsea's eye. The Mirror reports that the Blues have enquired about Harris, who is also touted by Fulham.

The Blues have also been linked with Sergio Aguero and will be encouraged in landing him after the Argentine told ESPN that he would quit the Vicente Calderon.

I will not return to Atletico, it is clear, he told ESPN. I talked to the club, gave a statement, now my representatives are negotiating my departure from the club. I don't know when the agreement will be, but I will know when the Copa America is finished.

His fellow striker at Atletico, Diego Forlan, has urged the club not to stand in his way, saying He said he wasn't going to stay and his statement is there. It's a shame because he is an important player; the two of us knew each other well and we formed a very good partnership, but I'm not going to analyse it and say if it is right or wrong - if he is really happy with the decision he made, then we have to accept it and wish him good luck.''