The Daily Mirror has reported that Real Madrid are planning a £45 million raid on local rivals Atletico Madrid for their star player Radamel Falcao. Falcao has been linked with big money moves to Manchester City and Chelsea in recent weeks but he looks set for a move to the Spanish champions.
Falcao is one of the most prolific strikers in Europe at the moment and he bagged five goals in a single game for Atletico Madrid in their weekend win over Deportivo. He has 16 goals from 14 games in La Liga this season which is putting him up near Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo territory.
The biased TV rights deals and the socio-political background of Real Madrid means they can draw on excessive funds for such a signing as and when they please whereas Manchester City and Chelsea would need the back of their wealthy owners to sanction any move for the player.
It could also be a preferential move for Falcao in terms of logistical reasons as the switch from Atletico Madrid to Real Madrid would be very easy for him to make. The only thing he would have to worry about after such a move is the resentment that will be felt among sections of Atletico supporters and the abuse he is bound to get going back to his old club.
Just the very thought of selling to their rivals could create uproar at Atletico, who conversely would surely prefer to sell the Colombian abroad to avoid the aggravation.
Chelsea seem the most likely English club to sign the forward although Roman Abramovich may be unwilling to sanction another mega bid following the £50 million the club paid for former Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres. Manchester City could move for the player as they have the resources available but any move may depend on one of the four current strikers at the club packing his bags and leaving for another club either this January or over the summer.
Falcao is destined for a much bigger club despite the fact Atletico are keeping the pressure on current La Liga leaders Barcelona with just a six point gap between the two teams. They are the only team in Spain’s top division with a 100 per cent win rate so if Real Madrid do move for Falcao this January, Atletico can effectively ask for whatever they like and the price may be bumped up to or beyond the £50 million mark.
Their best chance of hanging onto him is to try and maintain pressure on Barcelona and hope that the Nou Camp side buckle at some point during the season which would give Atletico an attack on the title. They look destined for Champions League football which is another reason he may also choose to stay put.