Chelsea chop Torres, Lukaku to go after Falcao and Costa
Mourinho woos Falcao, prepares to ditch Torres and could offer Lukaku for Costa
IT LOOKS as though there are going to be some big changes at the Bridge this summer, after Jose Mourinho fired the opening salvo in a bid to sign Monaco striker Radamel Falcao and doubts were raised about the future of several of his exisiting forwards.
According to the Daily Mail, the Special One told French TV station Canal Plus: "I have a team, but no striker. [And] Falcao does not have a team." That comment was a pointed reference not only to the form of his forwards, but also Monaco's small fanbase and stadium capacity of around 18,000. Just to rub salt in the wound Mourinho added: "A player like him can't play in front of 3,000 people. Monaco is a club to end [your career with]."
Falcao, who joined the French side in the summer for £50m is currently out with a knee injury and is also reported to be unhappy because of the lack of competition in the French league. It now seems inevitable that Chelsea will try to lure him to London in the summer.
However, Mourinho also ruled out moves for Paris Saint-Germain strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani in the same interview, and insisted that he would never use Eden Hazard as a makeweight in any deal.
The Daily Mirror reports that the Chelsea boss also took a dig at ageing Samuel Eto'o in the interview. "We don't have a goalscorer," he reportedly said. "Samuel Eto'o. Yes, Eto'o, but he is 32, maybe even 35, I don't know."
And that is not all. In a separate report, the Mirror casts doubt over the future of Fernando Torres (above), who may be off to Spain at the end of the season. Apparently Valencia's prospective new billionaire owner – Singapore businessman Peter Lim – intends to make Chelsea's £50m-man "one of the first names" on his list of summer signings despite the fact Torres has long since mislaid his scoring boots. The Mirror claims that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has "finally conceded" that Torres, who turns 30 next month, is never going to set the Bridge ablaze and will sanction his sale in the summer. It's believed that Chelsea will take as little as £13m for Torres, an eye-watering loss on a player they signed with such fanfare three years ago.
Ans still the Chelsea gossip goes on. Falcao, it seems, is not the only frontman wanted by Mourinho. The Daily Mail reports that Chelsea have edged ahead of their rivals in the race to sign Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa. In recent weeks Costa has been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham but the Mail says that the Blues are said to be "confident" of landing the Spanish sharpshooter at the end of the season.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and his technical Director Franco Baldini believe the Lilywhites are in need of a world-class striker for next season but Costa – who is priced at £40m – is also on Mourinho's wishlist. According to the Mail Chelsea will offer Atletico Madrid a wad of cash plus Romelu Lukaku, who is currently on loan with Everton, in order to bring Costa to the Bridge.
Meanwhile Metro says that Roman Abramovich is planning to lure Didier Drogba back to Chelsea as a coach to help create "a production line of striking talent" at Stamford Bridge. The 35-year-old Drogba, currently with Galatasaray, will face Chelsea on Wednesday in their Champions League last-16 clash. But his contract with the Turkish outfit expires in May and Metro claims that he'll be offered a deal to return to Chelsea as a player-coach.
In other news, the People reports that Swansea's Spanish striker Michu is being chased by Anzhi Makhachkala. The Russian transfer window finally closes tonight and it's believed Anzhi, currently languishing at the foot of the Russian league after major cash cutbacks, will make the Welsh club an irresistible offer for the 27-year-old Michu. After a brilliant first season with the Swans, Michu's form has tailed off after a series of injuries and the People says Anzhi owner Suleyman Kerimov "wants to get Michu in fast". Swansea only paid £2m for Michu in the summer of 2012 and it's said that chairman Huw Jenkins is in talks with Anzhi and a £6m deal is in the pipeline.
The Daily Star says that Manchester United "are sure" they have won the £25m race to sign Ilkay Gundogan. David Moyes has been chasing the Borussia Dortmund playmaker ever since he took over the helm at Old Trafford, and the Star claims that Gundogan has chosen United over Arsenal and Real Madrid
Finally, the Mail reports that Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky has "committed his future" to the club by agreeing a new 12-month contract. The 33-year-old Czech Republic international, who scored a superb goal in the Gunners' 4-1 defeat of Sunderland at the weekend, has been given an extension to the existing deal that expires in the summer, one that will see Rosicky remain on his annual income of £4m. "Tomas Rosicky will stay. We have an agreement with him and it will come out soon," explained manager Arsene Wenger.