|On his way? How Radamel Falcao would look in our mocked-up image|
Talks with the Colombian’s representatives and Atletico chiefs have been ongoing for months, but Chelsea think they are close to signing him.
Sportsmail can reveal the London club have turned down a potential summer move for long-term target Edinson Cavani to focus on getting Falcao’s signature secured.
Roman Abramovich has given the green light to a financial package understood to be worth £200,000 a week and will also meet Atletico’s £46million asking price.
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibault Courtois is central to the transfer negotiations. The Belgian has impressed on a season-long loan at Atletico and the Spanish club are keen to keep the 20-year-old.
Chelsea’s coaching team believe Courtois would benefit from a loan spell at a Barclays Premier League club next season as they groom him to be Petr Cech’s replacement. But they are willing to give the thumbs up to another season-long spell in the Spanish capital for the keeper to aid their quest to land Falcao.
Chelsea are so committed to signing the Falcao, 27, this summer that they have spurned the chance to negotiate a deal for Cavani, 26. The Uruguayan has long been a favourite of owner Abramovich and technical director Michael Emenalo.
The Napoli forward’s representatives recently approached Chelsea officials about a potential summer switch, indicating Stamford Bridge would be Cavani’s preferred destination should he move to England.
But Chelsea waived the option given their commitment to the Falcao deal and their move for Bayer Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle, 22.
Meanwhile, skipper John Terry hopes to open talks over another contract at the club this summer. The defender, 32, who has spent his whole career at Stamford Bridge, is out of contract after next season.
Terry said: ‘I’ve got a year left at Chelsea after this. People have not spoken about a new contract and this kind of thing, but it’s not even on the agenda at the moment.
‘They may sit down with me once the season has finished and we’ll start talking then. Whether it’s a yes or a no, I’ll continue to give my very best until my contract finishes.’
Terry has endured a difficult campaign, with a lengthy absence due to a knee injury, while the skipper has also missed out on selection for some key fixtures, including the FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City.
Chelsea’s policy is to offer those aged over 30 only 12-month deals.