Chelsea could be given a free run at signing AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao after Real Madrid decided to drop out of the race to sign him.
According to Spanish publication El Confidencial, the Colombian striker is unhappy in the principality after his summer move from Atletico Madrid and the Stamford Bridge club are ready to make a move for him in January.
Jose Mourinho openly criticised his forwards after they failed, once again, to convert Chelsea's dominance in the extra-time defeat to Sunderland in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening.
The El Confidencial report claims Falcao is ready to move away from Monaco after only a few months there and that he is open to a move to Chelsea, despite favouring a switch to Real Madrid.
It claims los Blancos have decided to pull out of the race to sign him as they do not believe they need to spend big to improve Carlo Ancelotti's squad in January and are not prepared to get into a bidding war with Blues owner Roman Abramovich, especially as they believe the west London club are determined to get their man.
Falcao's arrival would almost certainly mean Demba Ba would need to find a new club, as he has been down the pecking order behind Chelsea's other misfiring strikers Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres.
The report claims Falcao is being pressurised by Monaco to publicly insist he is happy, but that he is privately desperate to move away and that any deal would likely cost in the region of €55million.