Falcao exit talk rubbished by Monaco boss

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Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri has insisted that Radamel Falcao's continued absence from his starting line-up is purely down to injury, rejecting the notion that a rumoured rift between the pair could prompt his exit in January.

Falcao has been persistently linked with Chelsea in recent weeks despite only joining Ligue 1's emerging force last summer, with the Blues thought to be mulling over a bid worth around £60m plus Fernando Torres to land the predator.

The Colombian has not featured in Monaco's last three league games through injury, but Ranieri has conceded that he can do little to stem rumours over mega-money interest from Stamford Bridge.

He told reporters as a press conference yesterday: "There is absolutely no problem with Radamel.

"But even if I say that there's no problem, some people will still write the exact opposite, so everybody should write whatever they want.

"He should resume regular training on Wednesday and might play again at the weekend. We'll see."

The 27-year-old has helped Monaco fans forget a hefty £52m transfer fee with nine goals in 14 Ligue 1 games, but his absence has not affected Les Rouge et Blanc's fine domestic form.

Without Falcao missing the newly-promoted outfit have won three games on the bounce, keeping pace with Ligue 1 pace-setters and defending champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Ranieri faces a fight to keep his star man though, with Blues boss Jose Mourinho thought to be desperate for a consistent supply of goals in the final third from a proven commodity.

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