Chelsea chief Roman Abramovich has given the go-ahead to launch a stunning £46million January bid for Radamel Falcao.
Atletico Madrid star Falcao is regarded as the hottest striker in the world and destroyed Chelsea single-handed in the European Super Cup in August, firing a hat-trick as the Spaniards romped to a 4-1 win.
That was the night when billionaire Abramovich decided to make Falcao his No1 target and Chelsea have now got everything lined up to get a deal done when the winter window opens.
Chelsea owner Abramovich wants steal a march on Manchester City, whose manager Roberto Mancini travelled to Spain to watch Falcao play last weekend.
Blues manager Roberto di Matteo has stuck by inconsistent £50m signing Fernando Torres up front this season, but the club have now decided to go for another big-name to boost their push for more silverware.
Falcao, a 26-year-old Colombia international, joined Atletico from Portuguese side Porto for £35m in 2011.
The Spanish club will find it hard to resist a big-money offer in January as they have debts to pay.
Prolific Falcao has become widely regarded as the best striker in the world since moving to Europe and has a buy-out clause of €55m (£46m).
It is believed that, despite their near-£80m summer spending spree on Eden Hazard (£32m), Oscar (£25m), Victor Moses (£9m), Marko Marin (£7m) and Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.5m), Chelsea are confident they can buy Falcao and still fall into line with UEFA's Financial Fair Play guidelines