Paris Saint-Germain are ready to throw the cat amongst the pigeons by offering Atletico Madrid €60 million for forward Radamel Falcao, a reported target for both Chelsea and Manchester City.
Falco has been the subject of intense transfer rumours in recent months thanks to his spectacular form for Atletico Madrid, with daily news reports on his future becoming more and more frequent as the January transfer window approaches.
The Colombian forward has eight La Liga goals to his name so far this season, placing him level with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, while his hat-trick against Chelsea in the Super Cup made the Premier League leaders sit up and take notice.
Both Chelsea and Manchester City have been linked with a big money move for Falcao, despite Madrid general manager Miguel Angel Gil Marin insisting yesterday that he wouldn’t be sold even though a transfer fee of €60 million, the figure written into his contract as a release clause, would ease the club’s well-known financial worries.
Chelsea’s hunt for a striker looks set to resume in January as they search for a long-term replacement for Didier Drogba, with Edinson Cavani also linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.
Currently Fernando Torres leads the line with Daniel Sturridge as his deputy, but Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo could look to bring in more competition up front, especially given Torres’ troubles in front of goal since moving to Stamford Bridge in 2011.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini meanwhile was present at Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 win over Malaga on Sunday, although the Italian denied he was casting an eye over the former Porto forward ahead of a potential move to take him to the Etihad Stadium.
Only a few clubs, including Chelsea and Manchester City would be able to afford Falcao’s lofty price tag – however Paris Saint-Germain certainly fall into that category and are preparing to strike first.
According to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, PSG are preparing to activate Falcao’s release-clause in January, which would then take Madrid’s insistence that they won’t sell until at least the end of the season out of the equation.
Writing on his Sulia page, Ballague, who works for Sky Sports and writes for Spanish paper AS as well as the Times, says PSG want to land their man ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City ‘sooner rather than later’, and will look to take Madrid’s wishes out of the equation by activating his release clause.
“Atlético Madrid say he will stay put this season but PSG will test the player's will by tabling an offer for the whole of his buy out clause in January,” he wrote.
“There is no doubt he will be sold within the year, but PSG want him sooner rather than later.”
The move could ignite a transfer battle for his signature with the two Premier League clubs, although both Chelsea and Manchester City will hope Falcao’s fondness for English football, revealed in a recent interview with the Times, will persuade him to move to either Stamford Bridge or the Etihad Stadium.