Real Madrid are ready to enter the race for Atletico Madrid Striker Radamel Falcao, and have already held discussions with their rivals over a potential €55 million transfer.
Falcao has marked himself out as one of Europe’s deadliest strikers in recent years, and his eight goals for Atletico this season have helped them up to second in La Liga, level on points with Barcelona.
Manchester City and Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move for the Colombian forward, while Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho’s recent comments that a gentlemen’s agreement between the two Madrid clubs ruled a move seemingly left it as a straight fight between the two Premier League giants.
"Falcao is a fundamental player for our rivals, just like Kun Aguero was. There is a pact of non-aggression between Real Madrid and Atletico so I think Falcao is a forbidden fruit," the former Chelsea coach told A Bola.
"He's a fantastic player, and I get the feeling he is a lovely guy, and I'm very happy to see him do so well at Atletico."
However according to reports in Spain, Real are ready to enter the race for Falcao, and the club’s director general Jose Angel Sanchez has approached the his agent Jorge Mendes ahead of a summer swoop.
According to Cadena Cope, Madrid are willing to pay €55 million in the summer, with the suggestion that the fee be paid in two installments.
The Spanish radio station reports that Falcao’s third party investors, who own 50% of his commercial rights, are willing to sell up in the summer, despite Atletico’s protestations otherwise.
It is also reported that Mourinho is fully aware of the approach for Falcao, and is a keen admirer of the prolific striker.
Atletico Madrid’s perilous financial state has prompted suggestions they may be forced to sell up before the end of the season, while earlier this week Atletico’s president Enrique Cerezo admitted if the former Porto forward’s release clause of €60 million was met in January, then he would be leaving the club.
Both Manchester City and Chelsea are believed to be considering making bids for Falcao, either in January or at the end of the season.
Citizens boss Roberto Mancini was present to see Atletico defeat Malaga before the international break, while Chelsea have also had scouts cast an eye over the 26-year-old.
Reports last week suggested the Stamford Bridge club have commissioned a £46 million bid for Falcao in January.
The striker made stood out recently against Chelsea as Ateltico secured a 4-1 win against the Blues, with Falcao bagging a hat-trick.