Chelsea on verge of signing Radamel Falcao on season-long loan

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Radamel Falcao seems likely to be lining up for Chelsea in the Premier League next season.

The Colombian forward, 29, is inching towards a move back to England after Manchester United declined their option to sign the AS Monaco striker permanently for a reported $60 million after he spent the 2014-15 campaign on loan at Old Trafford.

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In the UK Sky Sports is reporting that the deal is completed, while the BBC and various other outlets in claim that the deal is still being finalize but is close to completion. Monaco can’t afford to keep Falcao around and would rather loan him out once again as his four-year deal still has two years remaining, while the player has no intention of returning to the Ligue 1 outfit who bought him for $80 million from Atletico Madrid back in 2013.

Falcao scored just four times in 29 appearances for United as Louis van Gaal left the former Atletico and FC Porto striker on the bench for much of the second half of the season. However, Chelsea’s boss Jose Mourinho recently spoke of his displeasure at the way Falcao was treated at United last season and had the following to say about a potential move for the man they call “El Tigre” back in Colombia.

“If I can help Falcao reach his level again, I will do it,” Mourinho said. “It hurts me that people in England think that the real Falcao is the one we saw at Manchester United.”

[ RELATED: Saints, Stoke sign Spanish strikers ]

So, with Chelsea needing a forward after Didier Drogba’s departure over the summer and only Loic Remy around to support the magnificent but injury-prone Diego Costa, Falcao’s potential arrival for the reigning PL champions will significantly bolster their attacking options for the 2015-16 season.

Signing him on a season-long loan from Monaco is a little bit of a gamble after his season of struggle in 2014-15 at United but given the fact that he has something to prove and may get plenty more minutes with Chelsea, Falcao’s arrival in west London could be a masterstroke from Mourinho. He is a true predator in and around the box — 142 goals in 178 games for Porto and Atletico will give you that reputation — and if he can link up with Eden Hazard, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas then it could add at least another 15-20 goals to Chelsea’s forward line who missed Costa badly for large stretches of last season but still eased to the PL title.

Many believe the Colombia national team captain has never fully recovered from rupturing his left ACL in January 2014 but it looks like he will get a chance to once again showcase his talents in the PL next season.

Falcao is currently in action for Colombia at the Copa America tournament but his side face an uphill task of qualifying for the knockout stages after a shock 1-0 defeat to Venezuela in their Group C opener.

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

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Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

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It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Chelsea, Real $38M apart on Hazard

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How much for Hazard?

Real Madrid are willing to pay $127 million, no small fee, to bring Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but that’s well off the Blues’ evaluation according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea sees Hazard’s price as $165 million. Belgian writer Kristof Terreur told Sky that Hazard wants his future sorted by June 4.

[ MORE: Bayern wins double ]

The Blues’ superstar is entering the final year of his contract, and could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and leave on a free transfer.

Hazard turns 29 in January. He recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 51 matches this season, his best output in a Blues uniform.

The report says Chelsea feels no pressure to sell Hazard, but it would be a surprise if it dug in its heels too deeply considering the state of the Belgian’s contract.

Even for Chelsea, letting over $100 million walk out the door is wild, and for all Hazard’s won with Chelsea there’s also been consternation under several managers and a more than occasional habit of disappointing on the table.