Falcao to Chelsea Transfer Rumour May Spark Huge Striker Merry-Go-Round
Chelsea's pursuit of Radamel Falcao has been well-documented by the global media since the summer months and some publications including the Telegraph are anticipating a bid in the January window for the Colombian hitman.
The quoted price of £48 million would make him the second-highest incoming transfer to the Blues after Fernando Torres, the man whom he is apparently replacing in the starting lineup.
Falcao is the second-highest top scorer in La Liga this season with 17 strikes, accounting for almost half of Atletico Madrid's goals scored.
His potential move to Chelsea could be the transfer that initiates a series of moves for strikers around the Premier League over the coming months, all of which have been in the media over the past few weeks.
Here is the merry-go-round trail which Falcao leaving Atleti for Chelsea could spark.
Beginning It All: Chelsea to Bring in Falcao
Denis Doyle/Getty Images
First off is the bid for Falcao.
This is a rumour that has been running since before Atletico spanked Chelsea 4-1 in the UEFA European Super Cup at the end of August, a game in which Falcao hit a hat-trick.
Having played at FC Porto where Andre Villas-Boas managed before joining the London side, it was an obvious leap to think that AVB would want Falcao at Chelsea too, but neither he nor Hulk ended up at the Blues under the now-Spurs manager. Roberto Di Matteo likewise was linked with wanting to bring the striker to Stamford Bridge and now Rafa Benitez is said to want him.
The transfer would be a hugely expensive one, but it won't be a problem for Roman Abramovich if Chelsea do indeed choose to go down this route.
That Allows Blues to Offload Sturridge to Liverpool
Ian Walton/Getty Images
With Falcao coming in, Chelsea will have something of an excess of strikers.
In fact even if they only keep Torres, they'll still have almost £100 million worth of talent battling for just one place in the team.
Daniel Sturridge is the obvious choice who will make way and is said to be close to a move to Liverpool in January. His transfer could cost around £12 million, which would allow Chelsea to recoup some funds after their large outlay in summer and the possible expenditure on Radamel Falcao.
Out of favour this season and unlikely to get much more game time, whether from the right flank or through the centre, Sturridge will move on if he can—and Liverpool certainly need to add a forward or two as they seek to add goals to the team.
Liverpool Have Told Andy Carroll He Is Not Required: Newcastle Return Is on
Clint Hughes/Getty Images
With Sturridge coming in and possible other additions to follow, Andy Carroll's future seems set away from Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers allowed him to leave on loan for West Ham United this season but there is no guarantee the Hammers will sign him permanently—and the latest rumours have the former Newcastle United striker wanting to move back to his old club.
Carroll has been unable to make himself a first-team player at the Reds and is resigned to leaving according to the Daily Star report. Although West Ham will have the first option on him, he is currently injured and might struggle to convince he is worth the money on a permanent basis.
Heading back to Newcastle would complete a full circle for Carroll and bring us to our next departure...
Carroll Will Be Replacing Demba Ba, Who Is off to Arsenal
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Carroll was eventually replaced a few months later with Newcastle bringing in Demba Ba.
The Senegalese forward has scored 11 goals this season in a struggling Magpies side, and given he is available for just £7 million in January it is no surprise that teams remain interested in him.
Manager Alan Pardew might now have to undertake the same transfer activity in reverse—shipping out Ba in January and replacing him with Carroll a few months later.
West Ham Have to Replace Carroll and Have Chosen Marouane Chamakh as Their Man
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
To neatly complete the cycle, Arsenal need to offload one underperfoming forward and West Ham need to replace one—step forward, Marouane Chamakh, who is said to be heading to Upton Park on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
Chamakh is well out of favour at the Emirates with the likes of Lukas Podolski, Gervinho, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott all rotating centrally and out wide in the Arsenal attack, leaving Chamakh to plug a gap in the Capital One Cup or remain sat on the bench.
The potential addition of Demba Ba would of course further reduce Chamakh's chances of getting involved in the first-team scene, while at West Ham he would only have Carlton Cole and Modibo Maiga as competition—at least until Carroll returns from injury.
Chances of It All Happening?
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Who can tell?
Atletico of course will be reluctant to part with their star striker when they are mounting a genuine challenge for La Liga's top two and could qualify for the Champions League as well as retain their Europa League trophy.
The Sturridge-to-Liverpool move is seemingly under threat because of agents' fees, West Ham have been linked with Salomon Kalou just as much as Chamakh, Chelsea might yet aim for Andre Schurrle instead of Falcao, and a thousand more transfer rumours may yet circulate before any deals are actually completed.
They are certainly all plausible—but the January window often throws up a surprising, unexpected move or a team finds they are unable to buy their chosen player until they move on one beforehand.
Falcao to Chelsea could kickstart a chain reaction—but Fernando Torres' five goals in his last three matches might convince Roman Abramovich to drop the entire idea if the Spaniard's form continues.
It should be an interesting January transfer window.