Chelsea may be involved in a one-horse race for AS Monaco's in-form penalty-box striker Radamel Falcao, as the costs associated with such a transfer are deemed too dear for Real Madrid, meaning the La Liga giants have pulled up at one of the final furlongs leaving the Blues clear to ready what could be a historic winter window bid.
An ambidextrous second-generation footballer, Falcao has returned seven goals after ten matchdays of Ligue 1 action and has proved a fundamental part of Monaco's title challenge (just two points adrift of pace-setting Paris Saint Germain), however, the Colombian is reportedly unsettled in France and is seeking a move away.
It had initially been speculated that the former Atletico Madrid goal-scorer would return to the city, to link up with Real, rumours heightened by club president Florentino Perez's public admiration for the striker (see photo above). That move, though, has effectively been quashed as El Confidencial report that the financing of any deal would be too great when factoring in the costs of the transfer and the funding of Falcao's £12m-per-year wages.
Falcao was one of the highest profile available players during the summer market and it was a shock that newly-promoted Monaco, backed by the seemingly unlimited transfer funds bankrolled by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, were able to secure the player's signature amid Premier League interest from Chelsea and Manchester City.
David Ginola even stated that Newcastle United would be a perfect environment for Falcao as the club's 'fans are fantastic'.
If Newcastle were ever in the running, though, they will effectively be priced out of bidding process as the 27-year-old, who scored an impressive 70 goals in 91 games in all appearances for Atleti, has a transfermarkt.co.uk value of £53m but is seen to be worth over three times that much by Monaco manager Claudio Ranieri.
'If Gareth Bale is €100million then how much is Falcao? He is €200million [£168million],' he is recently quoted to have said.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has long been attracted to Falcao's consistent lethal ability in front of goal and with Real Madrid out of the picture, it appears only a late entry by Manchester City could provide the financial firepower necessary to rival the Stamford Bridge side.
image: © Marca