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Chelsea and Manchester City have been alerted to news that Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao will leave the Vicente Calderon in the summer. The 27-year-old Colombian international is a long-time target for both clubs and according to the Express, the player's agent - Jorge Mendes - has informed scouts from all of Europe's top clubs that his client will be available for transfer.
Falcao joined Atletico in 2011 and had a sensational first season in Spain, scoring 24 times from 34 league appearances. He followed that with 21 in 25 games the following season and established himself as one of the top strikers in the world with a superb hat-trick against the Blues, in the European Super Cup at the start of this campaign.
Chelsea were immediately linked with a £48m move for the South American. City's interest came on the back of uncertainty over the long-term futures of Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko and Italian international Mario Balotelli. However, in November, the Premier League champions reportedly told Atletico general manager Miguel Angel Gil Marin they would not move for his player without offloading Balotelli; the ex-Inter Milan player has since moved to AC Milan.
Any move for Falcao will likely be a very expensive proposition, meaning there are only a few clubs who could afford his services. Spanish champions Real Madrid have also been linked to Falcao but it remains to be seen if the city rivals are willing to do business with each other.
Falcao is rated at above £50m by his club and has three years to run on his contract.
Mancini on Second Place in Premier League
Meanwhile, City boss Roberto Mancini has warned his players to not lose focus, ahead of the final few games of the season. The reigning English champions will almost certainly lose their title this season, to local rivals Manchester United.
With eight games left to play, the Etihad club trail Sir Alex Ferguson's men by 15 points and despite the emphatic 4-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday 30 March, Mancini knows there is little chance of catching his rivals. However, he stressed the importance of finishing at least second and ensuring direct qualification to the Champions League. The club are, at the moment, five points clear of Tottenham (who have played one game more) in third and seven ahead of Chelsea.
"I am sure Chelsea and Tottenham want to take second place. I don't think that can happen but we need to pay attention. The title race is over but that changes nothing as we should do our best from now until the end of the season," the ex-Lazio and Inter boss said.