Sport Soccer

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Falcao desperate for move to Chelsea

Radamel Falcao willing to take pay cut to join Chelsea after difficult stint with Manchester United
Radamel Falcao willing to take pay cut to join Chelsea after difficult stint with Manchester United
Didier Drogba wants to continue playing and is attracted by the prospect of the United States

Matt Law

Radamel Falcao is so desperate to try to secure a surprise summer move to Chelsea that he is willing to accept a big pay cut.

Manchester United have decided not to take up their option to sign Falcao permanently, but the Colombian wants to stay in the Premier League and ideally move to London.

Arsenal showed an interest in Falcao last August, but are unlikely to pursue the striker this summer, leaving Chelsea as his only hope.

Chelsea are in the market for a replacement for Didier Drogba, and Jose Mourinho and Falcao share the same agent in Jorge Mendes.

Mendes is helping Mourinho in the manager's attempt to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid. He will also attempt to broker a move to Stamford Bridge for Falcao.

The Monaco forward's wages of £265,000 a week, which United paid this season, would be a stumbling block to Chelsea, whose highest earner, Eden Hazard, is paid around £200,000 a week. But Falcao is prepared to accept a lower wage than that to facilitate a move to Chelsea.

Whether that is enough to tempt Mourinho remains to be seen as Falcao, 29, scored just four goals for United and has struggled to overcome the knee injury that forced him to miss the World Cup last summer.

Mourinho is a big fan of Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi, who has been offered a new contract by the Italian club and has interested Real Madrid.

Chelsea have one Colombian at the club, Juan Cuadrado, but he has endured a difficult start to life at Stamford Bridge, which could be compounded by an injury he sustained during the final-day victory at home to Sunderland.

Cuadrado was forced off with a knee problem, prompting fears that the winger could miss the Copa America tournament next month. The 26-year-old is awaiting more news from a specialist.

Meanwhile,  Didier Drogba has revealed that he started receiving offers from new clubs while he was still celebrating winning the Premier League title in the Chelsea dressing room, but has promised he will never play for another English team. Drogba confirmed that he was leaving Chelsea this summer just hours before the Sunderland game.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech will now inform the Chelsea board that he wants to find a new club to play regular first-team football.

Drogba, 37, wants to continue playing and is attracted by the prospect of following Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard to the United States. But unlike Lampard, who spent this season on loan at Manchester City from New York City, the Ivorian will not play for any other  Premier League team.

“A few years ago, when I first left Chelsea, I said I will not play for another English team,” Drogba said. “There are some really fantastic teams in the Premier League. But my love for this club, I can’t share it with another English team.

“Since I put the news I am leaving Chelsea on social media, I was in the dressing room and I was receiving some calls from teams which is really, really unusual. It showed that maybe I can still bring something to a team. Of course, I’m interested in the USA. Now I’m going to have a few days and weeks to think about what is good for me next, but all I want is to play.”

Drogba made 40 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions this season, scoring seven goals, but the Ivorian started just 14 games. “I feel that I could still play and I just want to enjoy myself before I say ‘I stop’.” This season’s Premier League title success and Capital One Cup victory mean that Drogba has won 12 competitions with Chelsea. “I played enough games to give a contribution to win the league,” he said. “I feel happy because I gave a good contribution.”

Sunday was also a Stamford Bridge farewell for Cech, who will now ask Chelsea for permission to leave, with Arsenal and Manchester United interested. “It’s his decision and I think the club will respect that,” Drogba said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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