Chelsea have given up on signing Radamel Falcao and will turn their attentions towards Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, according to AS.
The Stamford Bridge club were reportedly tracking Falcao for some time, with owner Roman Abramovich sanctioning a big money move for the Colombian, though Manchester City were also credited with an interest in him.
However, the report from the Spanish newspaper claims a statement from Falcao’s agent, Jorge Mendes, saying his client would be going nowhere in January, has prompted new Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez to move focus from the Atletico Madrid striker to his French counterpart at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Blues pulling out of the race could leave Roberto Mancini a free run at signing the prolific former Porto striker in the summer if he has ruled out a January transfer window switch.
AS also claim Benitez’s admission that Fernando Torres is no longer the same player is as good as an admission that he feels he needs to recruit a replacement for the misfiring ‘el Niño’.
Torres has had torrid time on front of goal recently and hasn’t score din the Premier League since the beginning of October.
Such form has led many to believe the appointment of Benitez was made almost directly to address the Spain striker’s abysmal goals record for Chelsea.
Torres’ best form in England was see while playing under Benitez at Liverpool, where he was one of the most feared strikers in Europe.
His form is compounded by so few options available in the centre-forward department; Daniel Sturridge has rarely played there and was recently injured, while raw young Belgian Romelu Lukaku is on loan at West Bromwich Albion and does not appear keen to return any time soon.