Chelsea are reportedly considering giving up goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and use him as a bargaining tool, in order to land top target and Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao in a player-plus-cash move in the summer.
Falcao is currently the most sought after striker in world football and has scored 23 goals from as many appearances for the Spanish club this season. The Blues have been in pursuit of the Columbia international for some time and, according to El Economista, they are now willing to allow Courtois join Atletico on a permanent basis, in order to snap up the Colombian hitman.
Courtois has been on loan at Atletico for the last two seasons and has started 59 of Los Rojiblancos' 61 La Liga matches during that period. The 20-year-old's performances helped the Spaniards clinch the Europa League title last season and reach second place in the league this year.
Atletico are understood to be keen to hold on to the Belgian, who is due to return to Stamford Bridge in the summer. Chelsea are aware of this and are now ready to sacrifice the stopper and place a £47m bid plus Courtois in exchange of Falcao, reports the Metro and talkSport.
Both Falcao and Courtois are contracted to their respective clubs till the 2016 summer.
Azpilicueta Happy with Chelsea Progress
Meanwhile, Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta feels the club are making progress under interim manager Rafael Benitez.
The west London outfit are currently third in the Premier League table, 16 points behind leaders Manchester United, but have two chances of clinching silverware this season; the FA Cup and the Europa League. Azpilicueta has enjoyed regular starts since Benitez took charge and is confident that his fellow Spaniard is guiding the club in the right direction.
"It is true the Europa League is not the same as the Champions League because that is the top but the Europa League is a big competition, an important competition, and now we have the chance to win it. Never in the history of Chelsea have we won this cup and we are going to try to do it," Azpilicueta told the club Web site.
"We are trying to do the things that he [Benitez] asks and I think that we are playing well and doing the right things. When you don't win it is difficult but hopefully we now recover the smile that is important for the team and for the future," the 23-year-old added.
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