£48m Chelsea target quashes January transfer talk

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Football News

Chelsea and Manchester City transfer target Radamel Falcao has dropped the biggest hint yet that he expects to stay with Atletico Madrid until the end of the season, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Colombian international has been linked with a move away from the Vicente Calderon in January, with both Chelsea and Manchester City reportedly keen to bring him to the Premier League.

The Daily Mirror claims that while the £48m-rated Falcao is desperate to test himself in England, a move is not likely to materialise now until the end of the season at the earliest.

As a result, Chelsea have moved on to other targets - Barcelona forward David Villa is the latest to be linked with the European champions.

Falcao returned to Colombia this week to receive a 'citizenship merit badge' for his work in raising the profile of his country abraod. And while in Bogota, the nation's capital, Falcao had this to say: "I recognise the great effort made by [Atletico president] Enrique Cerezo for me to stay at the club.

"I thank God our results have been so positive and that we have done so well this season so far. My expectation is that I will be staying at the club until the end of the season."

Earlier this week Atletico sporting director Jose Luiz Perez Caminero detailed the difficulties the club have experienced trying to ward off interest in their 26-year-old striker.

But while some reports suggested this could a case of Atletico setting the stage for selling Falcao next month, it now seems the club's manager, Diego Simeone, has convinced the Atletico hierarchy to hold off on cashing in just yet.

Atletico currently sit second in La Liga, nine points behind the pace-setters Barcelona but seven clear of city rivals Real Madrid. And Atletico are thought to be desperate to keep hold of Falcao as they push for a Champions League spot - qualification for next year's tournament could be worth close to £30m.

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