End of the road for Torres: Chelsea want Falcao

Blues owner Abramovich has given green light to bring Colombian to Stamford Bridge

Roberto Di Matteo has been given the green light by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to get Radamel Falcao after the Russian's £50 million Fernando Torres has become more of a liability to the Blues than a goal-scoring asset.

After Didier Drogba’s exit in the summer, Abramovich had hoped Torres would finally rediscover the form that persuaded him to smash the British transfer record to sign him from Liverpool in 2011.

But the 28-year-old has shown little sign of improvement, scoring only four Premier League goals this season and delivering another disappointing performance against Liverpool last weekend.

Chelsea have stepped up their interest in the red-hot Colombia striker who has been deadly in front of goal netting 34 for Atletico Madrid since the start of last season, according to the Daily Mail.

Manchester City and Real Madrid are also interested in the 26-year-old forward, who scored a spectacular hat-trick against Chelsea in the European Super Cup.

Di Matteo said: "Falcao is one of the best strikers, probably, in European and world football. His ratio of goals per game is quite impressive not just this season but over the last three years, at Porto and Atletico Madrid. If you ask any manager, he'd have him in his team."

Falcao himself is impressed by the Blues' ambition, saying: "Chelsea are champions of Europe and there is not much more to say than that. Even after winning the Champions League they still go and sign players of the highest quality. Their ambition is clear.

"I would not be worried about the physical aspect of the Premier League. I have scored goals in Argentina, Portugal and now Spain. I am confident I can adapt my game to any league. I would  welcome the challenge of the Premier League.

"I was also a big fan of Gianfranco Zola when I was growing up. I have watched the Premier League for a long time. There is so much quality and it is such an exciting league. Of course it is nice to think I might play in it."

Atletico will almost definitely have to cash in on their prized asset, if not in January then the end of the season. There is a £48m release clause in Falcao’s contract.

It has been suggested in Spain that Torres could return to his beloved Atletico, who sold him to Liverpool for £25m in 2007, as part of the deal that takes Falcao to London.

Chelsea defender David Luiz seemed to back the arrival of Falcao.

After facing the Atletico star in the 1-1 draw between Brazil and Colombia in New Jersey on Wednesday night, Luiz said: "I’m happy when there are great names attached to Chelsea. He’s a great player. It would be a good choice for Falcao to come to Chelsea. All of the players would be happy."

Former Blues boss Ruud Gullit also said on Wednesday: "If he (Torres) can't still do it at Chelsea, then they are going to have to look somewhere else. I think Falcao is a very good striker."

This week it was announced that Falcao had been shortlisted for FIFA's Puskas Award, which celebrates the best goals from 2012. The Atletico star's volley against America de Cali from May 19 is hotly-tipped to be among the top three.


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