Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini reportedly met Radamel Falcao's agent, Jorge Mendes, earlier this week, to push through a transfer for the Colombian. The 25-year-old Atletico Madrid striker has been in fearsome form since he transferred to the La Liga club last summer and has dominated Premier League transfer talk since his hat-trick in the European Super Cup final earlier this season destroyed Champions League winners Chelsea.
Falcao, a Colombian international, has 49 goals in 60 appearances for Los Colchoneros, a strike rate that puts him on par with Real Madrid's Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Argentine wizard Lionel Messi. There were a number of reports, immediately after his performance in the game against Chelsea, the Blues' owner, Roman Abramovich, had sanctioned a £48m January transfer for the forward.
Those stories were joined by reports of interest from Spanish champions Real Madrid as well. There were also quotes from his father, Radamel Garcia, about how much his son wanted to play for the nine-time European champions, and the fact the player's agent is also the representative for Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has often been highlighted.
However, if reports of intensive discussions between Mancini and Mendes are indeed true, the Premier League champions may just have stolen a march on their rivals. The Etihad club already has four strikers - Argentina's Carlos Tevez and Sergio Agüero, Italy's Mario Balotelli and Bosnia's Edin Dzeko on their books - but reports have suggested Balotelli is likely to return to the Serie A and Inter Milan soon, meaning Falcao could be accommodated in Manchester.
As far as a potential move to Stamford Bridge is concerned, the Blues already have Spain's Fernando Torres but lack world-class competition and cover for the former Liverpool man. In any case, Torres' form over the past couple of seasons makes it difficult to see why Roberto Di Matteo would not want someone like Falcao, to feed off service from Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata.
Madrid's interest in Falcao stems from the fact they too need options up front, with only Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain as senior strikers and, as is the case for the La Liga game against Levante this weekend, with both players out injured, wide man Ronaldo will deputise as a striker.
The Telegraph's report concludes by stating the player has asked for a £5m (after tax) salary from whichever club is interested in his services. Atletico, meanwhile, are believed to want a transfer fee of £45m for the striker.