Chelsea have intensified their pursuit of Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao after it was reported that chairman Roman Abramovich was prepared to sanction an offer in January.

Spanish newspaper Marca believes that the Russian owner is prepared to make an offer when the transfer window opens in the New Year as he refuses to wait until the end of the season where there could be more suitors.

Radamel Falcao
Falcao is the joint top scorer in Spain with eight goals this season [Reuters]

Falcao has been in sensational form this season and has already found the back of the net on eight occasions in the league. This comes on the back of a debut season in La Liga where he finished the third highest goal-scorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Marca believes that in order to sign Falcao, Chelsea are willing to part with striker Daniel Sturridge who has fallen out-of-favour with manager Roberto Di Matteo.

There has been plenty of interest in the England international, with Liverpool reportedly coming close to agreeing a deal last summer.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers knows the player well from his time at Chelsea and was believed to be keen to sign Sturridge in order to boost his own forward options.

Sturridge could well still be of interest to Liverpool after it was revealed that Fabio Bornini would be ruled out of action for around three months, leaving Rodgers with just one senior striker in Luis Suarez.

Chelsea are also short of options when it comes to out-and-out strikers. With Sturridge largely overlooked, Di Matteo has been forced to rely on former Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres.

The Spaniard has shown glimpses of the form that led him to him moving for £50million, but there is still question marks over whether he can replicate the form he showed at Liverpool where he was largely viewed as one of the best forwards in the world.

Falcao's record in Portugal and Spain has cemented his reputation as one of the best finishers in European football and has the price tag to match.

Marca believes that Chelsea are willing to meet the €57million release clause and would hope to recoup at least €15m from the sale of Sturridge.