Chelsea have targeted Atletico Madrid hit man Falcao as their primary summer recruit and are prepared to go all-out to land him irrespective of who is sitting in the Chelsea hotseat next term.

The Colombian striker – who has continued his blistering Porto form in his inaugural season at Madrid with 23 goals in 29 games – has been on Roman Abramovich’s wish list for some time and though the form of Fernando Torres has much improved of late the lack of a prolific striker has been pinpointed within the halls of Stamford Bridge as the main reason the club has underperformed this year.

Falcao recently tried to play down repeated links to both Chelsea and Man City but only inadvertently increased the rumour mill by explaining that Atletico is viewed as a stepping stone and admitting frustration at the total domination of neighbours Real and Barcelona. The challenge of proving himself a success in the Premiership whilst competing for titles will certainly appeal.

From Atletico’s part – who bought Falcao last summer as a direct replacement for Sergio Aguero – a return on their investment would be reluctantly seen as the sensible option considering their present parlous financial state. This debunks the figure of 50 million Euros being punted around elsewhere (which is reputedly the fee set in the player’s buy-out clause) and lowers the estimation to closer to 40 million.

Quite where this leaves Torres is anybodies guess although he remains highly rated within the club’s hierarchy. Rumours persist however of behind-the-scenes disharmony with key personnel – namely the clique of Lampard, Cole and Terry – and assuming Chelsea are able to get a decent return on their squandered fortune El Nino may be making way for El Tigre in the months ahead.

The latter, who at 26 is fast approaching his peak which is a frightening prospect for defences everywhere considering his phenomenal scoring record up to now, is a clinical proven finisher, an accolade that can hardly be attributed to the misfiring Spaniard of late.

A further whisper – that the Cutter has heard from three different sources – is that Torres’ wife is desperately unhappy in the capital and is applying pressure on her husband to seek a move back to Spain or return up north where she was believed to have been very content with a wide circle of friends.

But enough with the speculation. What is becoming evidently clear is that Chelsea intends to test Atletico’s financial resolve with a firm bid in the region of £38m for one of the world’s most sought-after exciting talents this summer whether they land a Champion’s League spot or not and no matter who is installed as coach.