Manchester United have moved ahead of Chelsea and Real Madrid in the race to sign Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao.

According to Marca, the Old Trafford club have out manoeuvred their rivals from Stamford Bridge and Santiago Bernabeu to get into advanced negotiations for a €55million deal.

Falcao has long been linked with a switch to the Premier League but Chelsea were always tipped as his most likely destination, so news that Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have stepped in will come as a blow to Blues owner Roman Abramovich.

Real Madrid are also keen on signing the Colombian international but the report claims Atletico are so desperate not to sell to their rivals they have agreed to accept a price of €55million - €5million less than his buyout clause.

Manchester United’s reported involvement will come as a surprise to many as they already have a fully stocked front line.

Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney look to have already fired the Red Devils to the title this season.

However, there have been doubts over the futures of Hernandez and Rooney in recent weeks, as both have been linked with moves away from Old Trafford.

Chelsea, meanwhile, were expected to be targeting Falcao due to the continued stuttering form of Fernando Torres.

This latest report would suggest that Chelsea will have to look elsewhere to reinforce their front line.

Falcao has been in terrific form once again this season, scoring 28 goals in 37 games in all competitions for Atletico.

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