Radamel Falcao started the Spanish season in spectacular goalscoring fashion for Atlético Madrid and was the centre of much transfer speculation. He was initially linked with a move to cross town rivals Real Madrid and even a big money move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Recently, however, stories have emerged of a possible switch to the English Premiership and particularly with a move to current European Champions Chelsea, a side he scored a hat-trick against in the European Super Cup Final in Monaco, catching the eye of owner Roman Abramovich.
There is no doubting the financial clout of the Parisian outfit. The Club is owned by the Qatar Investment Authority (Qatar Sports Investment) which is chaired by Sheikh Hamad binJassem bin Jabr Al-Thani, a cousin of Málaga Club de Futbol owner Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani. The QIA also have the majority shareholding in Sainsbury’s and bought Harrods from Mohamed Al-Fayed in 2010, so money would not be an issue for the cash rich Qataris. The Club’s President is Nasser Al-Khelaifi who is also a Director of Qatari owned Al JazeeraSports (TV Network).
Florentino Peéez and Real Madrid have also been continually linked with the Colombian’s signature, but Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid have a non-aggression pact, which was seen to come into play and frustrate Sergio Aguero’s intended move across town. Atlético even have a clause in Falcao’s contract which would mean Madrid having to pay around €20 million more than his buyout clause, lodged with the Spanish Federation, should he wish to defect to the Bernabeu.
Falcao’s current buy-out clause is €60 million but should Madrid wish to pursue any interest in the player, they would have to pay €77 million plus tax to release the player. Madrid no doubt also have the funds to buy the player, but their interest would appear to be turning to Sergio Agüero of Manchester City, a player they have long coveted and who has stated that the only reason he signed for City instead of Madrid is because they did not pursue their interest in him.
However, it would appear that the Colombian international’s most likely destination will be West London and Chelsea. It is alleged that Falcao has already agreed terms with the club and rumours this week that José Mourinho will be heading back to the Bridge could strengthen the story.
Falcao and Mourinho both share the same agent, Jorge Mendes, and it is no secret that the Portuguese coach is a huge admirer of “El Tigre” (the tiger, as he is nicknamed). Mendes has strong relations with all three clubs mentioned, but the player’s destination is most likely to be to the club that he so ruthlessly destroyed on that August night in the Principality of Monaco. It would appear Abramovich would rather see the Colombian inflicting similar pain in the blue of Chelsea on his opponents.
If the papers in the UK are to be believed, then he could well be playing under the “Special One” in London, SW3.