Chelsea and Manchester City have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Colombian international striker Radaeml Falcao.
The 26-year-old Atletico Madrid star has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, with talkSPORT claiming the Blues had negotiated a £35 million deal to bring the player to Stamford Bridge.
However, agent Jorge Mendes has dismissed the speculation out of hand, and insists that the prized La Liga asset will remain in Spain during the January transfer window.
“They're just rumours. Radamel isn't leaving Atlético. It'd be impossible for him to leave in January,” said Mendes, according to The Daily Express.
Falcao has scored 11 goals domestically this season for his side, and would add serious strength to a Chelsea forward line lacking depth.
Spanish international Fernando Torres continues to be given chances in west London, helped by the arrival of Rafael Benitez as replacement for club legend Roberto Di Matteo following his sacking by owner Roman Abramovich.
Daniel Sturridge is currently the only senior back-up for Chelsea, and it now appears that Falcao won’t be bolstering the Blues’ ranks in the New Year either.
The Citizens are anything but short of options at the Etihad Stadium however, with Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko fighting for first team chances under the Italian manager.
Huge riches provided by the Manchester City owner means a link to any top player in unsurprising, but it appears the Premier League champions will also fail if they wish to pursue the signature of Falcao.