Radamel Falcao has taken another major step towards leaving Stamford Bridge after he was left out of Chelsea’s Champions League squad.
The Colombian striker, who has managed to score only once for the Blues and last played in October, has been highly linked with a mega move to Chinese Super League, where the transfer window remains open until 26th February.
However, new loan signing Alexandre Pato has been included in the 25-man squad along with Matt Miazga, who joined from New York Red Bulls last week.
The decision, which was confirmed by the club also, last night, suggests Falcao will not have the opportunity to play in the last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain on 16th February and 9th March.
However, Pato was left out of the team that drew with Watford on Wednesday night as he hasn’t played a game since November and was not believed to be sharp enough for inclusion at Vicarage Road.
Falcao had been linked with a possible return to his parent club Monaco but the French club doesn’t want to pay his staggering wages due to the increasing concern over his fitness levels.
The Colombian attacker has so far endured a disastrous 18 month period in the Premier League with his spells at Manchester United and now Chelsea, playing just 15 matches over that period, and just once for Chelsea, scoring a goal coming out as a substitute in a shock defeat to Crystal Palace back in August.
While the Chinese winter transfer window is not closing till 26th February, the 29-year-old Colombian can still end the Stamford Bridge nightmare before his loan deal expires in the summer as Jiangsu Suning seems to be flexing their financial muscle yet again.
The Chinese side have already signed a Blues player in the last month, snatching Ramires from Chelsea in a stunning £25m deal last week, and now all set to make at least a cursory attempt to temp out the misfiring striker to the cash-rich Chinese Super league.
On Monday there was another report from The Telegraph which claimed that Falcao failed in a desperate deadline-day transfer to end his Chelsea nightmare, despite flying to Madrid to discuss a re-signing for his former club, Atletico Madrid.
Chelsea even gave Falcao the green signal to miss his latest rehabilitation session of a thigh injury on Monday to make the trip to Madrid so that the troubled striker might be able to move back to Spain if a deal could be agreed finally.
Falcao spent the day in a Madrid hotel while his agent Jorge Mendes tried hard to convince Atletico to bring his client back and also contacted Valencia over the 29-year-old Chelsea striker. But, as the deadline passed at 11 pm Chelsea hierarchy was not informed whether Mendes had managed to secure a deal for Falcao and it now seems to be the case that either the Colombian stays at Stamford Bridge for the rest of this season or make a move to China before the end of this month.