Athetico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao has revealed he intends to stay put until the end of the season, despite increasing interest from Chelsea who were reportedly hoping to bring him to Stamford Bridge in January.
Now, Chelsea may have to wait until the summer to get their man but, in the meantime, here are some alternatives they might want to consider.
The Blues owner Roman Abramovich was reported willing to shell out £48 million to bring the Columbian to West London but, for around half that, he could sign Fernando Llorente who is currently being chased by Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur.
The 27-year-old has told his club Athletic Bilbao where he has served for 7 years that he will not be renewing his contract that expires in the summer. He will most likely be sold in January – Chelsea could very well lure him to Stamford Bridge.
Conversely Schalke frontman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has just renewed his contract with the German giants. He had also been linked with a lucrative move in January to Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs but now those clubs are likely to turn their interest elsewhere as his price will have increased.
But if Chelsea were willing to pay £48 million for a striker that has scored 20 goals in 16 appearances so far this season, perhaps they might be interested in paying half that for a striker that scored 48 in 48 for Schalke last term.
At 29, he’d be a cheaper option and could very easily relieve Fernando Torres of the goalscoring burden.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is understood to be looking for a move away from the Spanish champions who currently look to be out of this year’s La Liga title race already.
The French international is a year younger than Falcao and is just entering his peak playing years. He is reportedly interesting Paris Saint-Germain but could be re-directed to London for around £30 million.
Likewise, German goal-machine Mario Gomez has seen himself slip down the pecking order somewhat at Bayern Munich. He scored 41 goals in 52 appearances last season and was one of the standout performers at the European championships earlier this year.
Now 27, the Blues would have to pay a premium price for the forward but he’d still be cheaper than Falcao and would add another 30 goals a season on average.
A younger alternative who would fit in perfectly with Chelsea’s new system is 23-year-old Brazilian starlet Leandro Damiao who has been linked with a ‘big move’ to Europe from his club Internacional.
They’d have to fight off Real Madrid, AC Milan, and possibly Spurs to capture him but his mates in the Brazil setup – Oscar, David Luiz, Ramires, and Lucas Piazon could surely convince him to join the Brazilian invasion. A bid of just under £20 million would just about do it.