Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to trigger Radamel Falcao’s release clause with a staggering £48million bid.

Acccording to, the Stamford Bridge oligarch has decided he is ready to meet the €60million clause in the striker’s contract with Atletico Madrid, as he is desperate to land the striker who is beginning to be mentioned in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Manchester City have also been credited with an interest in the report, but it claims that the Etihad Stadium moneymen will not allow a move for the Colombia international until one of the four current strikers at City – Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli – are offloaded.

This apparently means Chelsea are now favourites to sign Falcao, who Atletico are desperate to keep hold of – understandable when you consider he scored 36 goals in his first season there and has already scored nine in seven league games so far this season.

Chelsea are unbeaten at the top of the Premier League, but manager Roberto di Matteo has few centre-forward options other than Fernando Torres, so a move for Falcao could be made with the intention to provide some competition for the Spain international.

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