Chelsea have opened talks with Atletico Madrid over a fee for Radamel Falcao. The London Evening Standard says Blues officials have already been to Madrid to open negotiations with Atletico, who would prefer to sell him to Chelsea rather than fierce rivals Real Madrid.

Chelsea are favourites for Falcao's signature and owner Roman Abramovich is prepared to pay the £48m release clause in his contract as well as give him a salary that matches that of Fernando Torres's £175,000 a week.

It has been reported in Spain that Abramovich also intends to fly the Colombia international to London to have a tour of the city and the club's training facilities to help convince him to make the move to Stamford Bridge.

Manchester City and Paris St Germain are also in the hunt for the player but Atletico, second in La Liga, are determined to resist offers next month while the player himself is believed to want to stay until the end of the season.