Chelsea handed boost in £45m La Liga striker chase

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Chelsea have received a boost in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao after the club president revealed the difficulties involved in keeping hold of their star player, according to talkSPORT.

Atletico sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero issued a statement on the club's official website outlining the lengths Atletico have gone to in their effort to stave off interest in Falcao.

The Colombian international has been in sensational form this season, hitting 17 goals in 16 La Liga games - only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored more than Falcao in 2012.

And Caminero detailed to the fans how difficult it is to keep the likes of Chelsea, who have been linked with a move for the striker, away from Falcao.

"You have to appreciate the efforts made by the club, in these times it is difficult to keep a player of his class, you can bet that it was a titanic effort," Caminero said.

"We have all benefited and we are happy to have one of the best in the world at this club."

The report claims Falcao has a £45m release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract, and Chelsea are reportedly keen to offload Danny Sturridge to make space in their squad for the addition of Falcao.

The Blues crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage - the only defending champions ever to have done so - and sit behind Manchester United and Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

As a result, Rafa Benitez could look to strengthen his squad in the New Year, and with Fernando Torres the club's only senior striker, a new forward could be on the cards at Stamford Bridge. But the report claims a move is more likely at the end of the season, as Atletico are still competing in the La Liga title race - they sit second behind runaway leaders Barcelona, but ahead of city rivals Real Madrid.

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