Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's ambitious bid to outmuscle their rivals seems to be falling flat.
Blues legend Didier Droga seemed unhappy in China and was willing to consider a loan move to his beloved club.
But they have yet to make a move for him.
They have also been tracking Porto's Brazilian star in vain since last season.
The latest high-profile target of the European champions was Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao.
But Manchester City are poised to checkmate Abramovich by lining up a £46 million bid for the Colombian hitman, according to the Daily Mail (http://bit.ly/Say6vC).
Falcao, 26, has scored 12 goals in just eight appearances this season and has become Europe's most sought-after striker.
The lethal striker scored an exquisite free-kick in stoppage time to keep Atletico level with Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a win at Real Sociedad on Sunday.
City scout Carlo Cancellieri has confirmed that boss Roberto Mancini is interested in the former Porto man.
"I spoke about him in recent days with Mancini. If we were to take a player in January, we should take Falcao. He is an important player, the only one who could make us take the leap," Cancellieri told tuttomercatoweb.com.