Chelsea's top transfer target, Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, is set to snub a move to Stamford Bridge in the upcoming winter transfer window.
Having been linked with a move to the West London club for several months, the Colombian international recently denied that he would be leaving Atletico in the January transfer window—stating that his desire was to remain at the club until at least the end of the season.
Falcao was quoted by the Daily Mirror:
I recognize the great effort made by [Atletico Madrid president] Enrique Cerezo for me to stay at the club. My expectation is that I will be staying at the club until the end of the season.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea were ready to spend upwards of £50 million in transfer fees alone to sign Falcao, but the 26-year-old appears set on staying at Madrid this year.
While the news will disappoint Blues fans, those close to Falcao could not be happier. Atletico sporting director Jose Luiz Perez Caminero said (via the Mirror):
You have to appreciate the efforts made by the club [to keep Radamel Falcao]. It is difficult to keep a player of his class but we have all benefited and are happy to have one of the best players in the world at this club...
Falcao's decision not to come to Chelsea has several implications for Rafa Benitez's men. Most notably, the team will need Fernando Torres to truly step up as a striker in the latter half of the season.
Torres has netted six goals and an assist through his last six appearances for the club—numbers that the Blues will need to see continue if they are to push on for the Europa League title and a top-four spot in the English Premier League.
Daniel Sturridge is likely to leave Chelsea this winter for Liverpool (per the Daily Mail), while Romelu Lukaku is unlikely to return from his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion (per ESPN). Should that be the case, Chelsea would basically be relying on Torres alone to carry the load at the top of the attack this winter, with Falcao not coming to the club.
That is, unless they bring in another striker this summer, with Barcelona's David Villa a potential loan target (per the Daily Mail). Villa's combination with Torres and former Valencia teammate Juan Mata would no doubt reap good rewards for Chelsea should a deal be made.
Either way, there will be no Falcao at Chelsea this season—despite the plethora of transfer rumors that suggested otherwise throughout the year.
We'll have to see where this one goes in the summer transfer window at the end of the year, where the rumors of a move will surely pick up once again.
Is Radamel Falcao right not to move to Chelsea this winter?
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