Chelsea Transfer News and Rumours Tuesday 15 May

Cash Plus Torres for Falcao?

Reports from Spain are claiming that Chelsea are ready to offer Fernando Torres plus £15million for Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao.

Colombian striker Falcao scored two of his side’s three goals as they defeated Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League Final last Wednesday and although he pledged his immediate future to the Spanish club, their failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League means they may have to sell in order to balance the books. Atletico defeated Villareal on Sunday – a result which relegated the 2006 Champions League semi-finalists – but Malaga defeated Sporting Gijon to pip Atletico to fourth place in La Liga.

“If the club fails to qualify for the Champions League it has a revenue problem,” General Manager Miguel Angel Gil Marin said after last Wednesday’s triumph.

There are reports that Atletico have now put a £50million price tag on Falcao, whose winner against Villareal was his 36th goal of the season. He arrived from Porto last summer in a deal worth £32million Marin’s comments suggested that Champions League football next season was what the club had budgeted for.

Madrid TV station Telemadrid has claimed that Chelsea had made an offer of Torres plus £15million for Falcao. If correct it would give Torres the chance to return to the club where he started his career. At a valuation of £50million for Falcao this would value Torres at £35million. He moved to Chelsea for £50million in January of last year.

Chelsea Still In Hunt for Lucas

Chelsea’s hopes of signing Sao Paulo attacking midfielder Lucas Moura aren’t as distant as some outlets are reporting.

The Daily Mail is one of a number of British newspapers claiming that Chelsea are set to lose out to Inter Milan for the 19-year-old who is regarded as one of the hottest properties in South America at the moment. Lucas made his debut for Sao Paulo in 2010 and made the first of his 11 international appearances for Brazil in 2011.

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport quoted Inter coach Andrea Stamaccioni yesterday as saying Lucas is one of Inter’s top targets this summer.

“He is a world class player. For me he is one of the most interesting talents on the transfer market today and would be great for us.”

Stramaccioni’s problems in his attempt to sign Lucas are two-fold. First and foremost is his club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League. This will deny Inter of around 33million euro (£26million) in revenue next season. Secondly – and associated with the first problem – is Sao Paulo’s insistence on a 30million euro transfer fee for Lucas, a fee which Inter are privately saying they cannot afford.

However, Lucas said recently that he is not ready to leave Brazil just yet. This may help Inter, who may be back in with a fresh bid next summer – Champions League qualification permitting – but it won’t help the other two sides being linked with the teenager, Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Chelsea were reported earlier this year to be ready to meet Sao Paulo’s asking price of 30million euro, while reports in the Brazilian press have claimed that Real will only make a bid if Gonzalo Higuain leaves the club this summer, a prospect which now seems remote.

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