Chelsea and Manchester City have been dealt a potentially huge transfer blow over Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao.
The Colombian hitman has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in recent weeks, with the Blues and Citizens amongst the top clubs tracking the 26-year-old.
A £48 million minimum fee release clause has done little to quash the rumours over a move to England, but Atletico Madrid club president Enrique Cerezo is confident the player will remain at the Vicente Calderon Stadium until the end of his current contract.
"He says he is content and happy here and we are pleased and happy with him. There are so many rumours about Falcao but that does not bother me because he has a contract and is happy,” Cerezo told reporters, according to ESPN.
"It is all the same to us and he will fulfil his contract."
Ex-Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is a fan of the player, but crucially so is owner Roman Abramovich. That means that, despite the Italian’s departure from Stamford Bridge this morning, the club’s pursuit of the player could continue. The Daily Mail claimed on Friday that the Russian owner wants Falcao to replace Fernando Torres.
Manchester City certainly don’t lack the finances to make a move happen, and chief scout Carlo Cancellieri admitted that Falcao was the ideal target at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the month.
“If we were to take a player in January, we should take Falcao,” he’s quoted as saying in The Sun.
Were Roberto Mancini to land the Colombian, he’d join fellow South American strikers Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero at Manchester City.