Chelsea will not pay above €35 million for Atletico Madrid's in-form striker Radamel Falcao, a source has told ESPN.
Falcao, 26, has already scored 12 goals in eight Atletico Madrid appearances this season and has been dubbed 'the world's best No. 9', prompting a host of top clubs to race for his signature.
The Colombian could be the missing piece of the puzzle for Chelsea, with £50 million man Fernando Torres struggling for goals, but the Blues are not willing to pay over the odds for a player again and have set themselves a budget.
"Chelsea would go to 35 million euros but I don't believe they would go higher. The owner is fed up paying inflated prices," a source close to Roman Abramovich told ESPN.
"There is no way Abramovich will sanction such a price again, I just don't believe he will. Atletico paid €45 million for him, so I cannot believe they would sell for anything less."
Falcao has a €60 million buy-out clause in his contract, but Abramovich and the Chelsea hierarchy are acutely aware of UEFA's Financial Fair Play directive and any extravagant new signings would prejudice their abilities to persuade UEFA that are living within the financial rules.