Chelsea are ready to make a formal offer for Monaco striker Radamel Falcao after news that summer signing Diego Costa could be ruled out action for six weeks or more. Costa, who joined the Blues from Atlético Madrid for $53 million, got off to a flying start with two goals in his first two games. However, a hamstring injury in training combined with Fernando Torres talking to AC Milan about a loan move has left Chelsea coach José Mourinho light up front. Although veteran Didier Drogba can fill in, Mourinho needs fresh legs and long-term target Falcao could be signed over the weekend.
It marks a big turnaround in fortune for the Colombian who was ruled out of the World Cup in Brazil with a serious knee injury. The Monaco striker was expected to be ruled out until just before Christmas. The fact he had suffered a similar injury before left many fearing for his future. Instead, Falcao recovered from the injury faster than expected and now following a good pre-season, he is again one of the hottest properties in world soccer. Monaco will not be pleased to see their best player leave, but it will be difficult for the Ligue 1 club to stand in his way.
Chelsea are hoping that further assessment of Costa’s injury will show it is a minor problem and that he could even feature against Everton this weekend. However, Mourinho is bracing himself for bad news and if Costa is ruled out for six weeks as expected, he will be tempted to go back into the transfer window and sign a big name before the Monday deadline.
Torres, who was the British record signing until Ángel Di María joined Manchester United from Real Madrid earlier this week, is negotiating a loan move with Italian giants Milan and a deal is expected to go through in the next day or so. Both clubs have agreed to terms but it is understood Milan cannot match Torres wages of $300,000-a-week. Chelsea are also open to letting the player leave in a permanent deal, although Mourinho may be reluctant to let the Spaniard leave at all unless he gets clearance on Costa or secures Falcao. Porto striker Jackson Martínez is another player who has been linked with a move for Chelsea, although Mourinho is said to prefer Falcao.
Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Falcao and the north Londoners were said to have ramped up their interest when Olivier Giroud was sidelined for up to four months through injury. However, Gunners boss Arsène Wenger has since said he will not dip into the transfer market again. Instead, he is likely to play Alexis Sánchez through the middle.
Chelsea’s main competition for Falcao comes from Real Madrid who are keen to sign one more striker before the transfer window closes early next week. Now that Chelsea are readying an offer for the player following Costa’s injury blow, Real could be forced to act fast if they want to get their man ahead of Chelsea.
Commentary by Robert Shepherd