The Premier League's biggest clubs have all been salivating at the juicy news that Radamal Falcao may be sold at the end of the current season.
Atletico Madrid general manager Gil Martin has stated that the economic problems at the club could be solved if they sell the striker in the summer.
"€60 [£48] million for Falcao would solve all the economic problems at Atletico," Martin is quoted as saying in The Mirror. "I can say for sure, though, that he will stay with us until the end of the season. Not only will he stay, but so will all the players that the coach wants to stay.
Falcao could leave in the summer with Atletico Madrid in financial trouble [Reuters]
"We will fight to perform a miracle which is what we are doing with what we have available. In Europe there are 50 clubs with more income than we have. If we were to sell Falcao for €60million, then that would cover our debts."
With that price tag it limits the clubs that will have a genuine chance of signing the Colombian hot shot. Chelsea and Manchester City are the two most likely candidates in the Premier League, while around Europe the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Spanish duo Barcelona and Real Madrid may want to compete.
But what makes the 26-year-old one of the most sought after strikers in world football? The answer is he is one of the few out-and-strikers who can virtually guarantee goals.
His record since joining Porto in 2009 is sensational. In three seasons in Europe he has averaged a goal every 109 minutes. While at Porto, Falcao scored 71 goals in 87 appearances in all competitions and a staggering 17 goals in 16 games as he helped the club win the Europa League title.
In his first season in Spanish football his record continued to impress. He came third in the Pichichi standings [Spain's top scorer list] behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with 24 goals. In total he scored 35 goals in 50 appearances. Not bad when you consider Atletico finished in fifth place, some 44 points behind neighbours Real Madrid.
This season he has continued where he left off and is in even more prolific form. A report in Spanish Marca has stated that this season the striker has averaged a goal every 45 minutes. He has scored 12 goals in 551 minutes, including the hat-trick he fired against Chelsea in the European Super Cup.
He has only failed to score in one league game this season and is currently one goal ahead of Ronaldo and Messi [thanks to being awarded a dubious second goal against Malaga by Marca last weekend] with nine league goals.
A physically powerful forward who regularly scores with both feet and is dangerous in the air; it is no surprise that the Premier League clubs are interested. Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini watched the striker in action against Malaga and could well consider making an offer.
The £48million release clause would barely raise an eyebrow at Manchester City, while the same could be said of Chelsea. The Blues currently have just two senior strikers in Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge and an array of supporting staff in midfield.
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo enjoys the system which requires one forward with attacking players helping ease the burden. Falcao would perfectly suit this system but much will depend on whether Torres demonstrates the form of years gone by.
In the modern game there are very few strikers whose entire game is based around simply putting the ball in the back of the net. They cannot drop into midfield, or work the wide areas. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie fit into this category.
So with choices limited Chelsea and Manchester City may well be the ones that profit should he decide he wants to test himself in England. Where would the striker choose? We could well find out next summer.
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