Di Matteo admits Falcao interest

Roberto Di Matteo says "any manager" would want Radamel Falcao and admits Chelsea may need reinforcements up front.

Last Updated: 16/11/12 at 17:36 Post Comment

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Roberto Di Matteo declared on Friday that "any manager" would want Radamel Falcao in their team as he admitted Chelsea may need reinforcements up front in January.

Speculation the European champions are set to move for Atletico Madrid sensation Falcao has reached fever pitch, with reports claiming they could even launch a £48million bid when the transfer window reopens.

Blues boss Di Matteo stuck to his policy of not discussing the club's transfer plans when quizzed on Falcao but also said: "If you ask any manager, he would have him in his team."

He added: "He is one of the best strikers, probably, in European and world football. His ratio of goals per game is quite impressive, not just this season but over the last three seasons, at Porto and Atletico Madrid."

Chelsea are set to lose Nigeria star Victor Moses in January for the African Nations Cup, leaving them short of back-up for Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge.

"We're looking at that, because we'll lose Victor and John Obi Mikel for that tournament," Di Matteo said.

"We'll look and see how we deal with it, but for the moment we're okay."

The past few days have seen Falcao both voice his admiration for Chelsea and commit his immediate future to cash-strapped Atletico.

The 26-year-old has been linked with the Blues for more than a year and showed them exactly what they were missing during August's UEFA Super Cup match when he tore their defence to shreds almost single-handedly.

Any move for the striker would also cast further doubt on the future of Torres, who has failed to live up to his record-breaking price tag since joining from Liverpool almost two years ago.

Chelsea have been linked with several other forwards who would represent less of a threat to the £50million man, while they could also recall Romelu Lukaku from his loan spell at West Brom.

They could have a bigger problem holding onto players than signing them in January if Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole's suitors get their way.

Chinese club Guizhou Rehne confirmed this week they want to sign Lampard when the transfer window reopens, while reports claim former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has called Cole personally to tempt him to join Paris St Germain.

Both players are out of contract in the summer and although Di Matteo wants them to stay, he admitted he is in the dark as to discussions over Lampard's future in particular.

"Ultimately that's between the player and the club to agree a new arrangement," he said.

"I'm not aware how the discussions are going at the moment."

Insisting he was unaware whether Lampard had opened talks with clubs either in China or the United States - where the 34-year-old has also been linked - Di Matteo added: "If there's a willingness from both sides, he will remain with us.

"He's been a fantastic player for us over a decade, so it would be nice for him to finish his career here."

Asked whether the courtship of Lampard and Cole meant he had to fight even harder to convince them not to quit Stamford Bridge, Di Matteo said: "The players know that I would like them to stay.

"They are fantastic players who have always performed to a high level for us, for myself too.

"I've told them that. I hope they will stay."

Chelsea have also seen some of their fringe players linked with moves away, most notably Marko Marin and Oriol Romeu.

Romeu has been touted for a return to Spain amid reports his agent had been speaking to Valencia.

Di Matteo admitted there was interest but asked if there was any prospect of him leaving in January on loan or permanently, he said: "Absolutely not."

Backing Romeu to fill the void left by John Obi Mikel's departure for African Nations Cup duty in January, he added: "He's a very young talent with good prospects for the future.

"Obviously he's got offers from other clubs, especially from Spain but also I've had calls from Italy about him. But he's been playing more recently and will be more."


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