Alexandre Pato might duck out the Corinthians exit in January and land in the Premier League’s spotlight.
Pato has emerged as one of Arsenal’s primary transfer targets, and his club, Corinthians, recently rejected the Gunners’ £6.6 million ($10.8 million) transfer bid. But Arsenal is expected to continue pursuing Pato in the January transfer window, according to the Mirror.
“The former AC Milan forward has been earmarked by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger as the man to rival Olivier Giroud as the Premier League leader’s main striker,” the report says.
“And according to Lancenet, they have been in touch with the Sao Paulo club over Pato, a 27-cap Brazilian international.”
Pato, 24, has scored ten goals in 25 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Brazil first division) games since joining Corinthians from AC Milan in January. Returning to his homeland helped him overcome longstanding injury problems and earn a recall to Brazil’s national team based on his performances with Corinthians.
However, Pato appears to have fallen out of favor at Corinthians in recent weeks, having started just three of its last 11 league games. Corinthians spent £12.4 million ($20.3 million) to sign him, and he is undoubtedly one of the Brazilian giant’s highest-paid players. Arsenal’s transfer bid was just over half of what Corinthians paid Milan for Pato, but £10 million ($16.4 million) might be enough to land “Alex the Duck” (as he is sometimes called).
Signing Pato for that price would be transfer coup for Arsenal. The Gunners are searching for attacking reinforcements, as Giroud, Nicklas Bendtner and Yaya Sanogo are the only first-team strikers on Arsenal’s books. Wingers Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski can also play centrally, but Wenger is reportedly keen on adding another elite striker to the roster.
Pato established himself as an elite player at Milan. He was one of Milan’s key players from January 2008-early 2010, but a series of injuries to his leg muscles dogged him for two-and-a-half years and derailed his Italian soccer career. Milan reportedly valued him at £33 million ($54 million) when he was a 21-year-old.
Tottenham is also thought to be interested in signing Pato, but he rejected a chance to join the Spurs last summer. PSG and Manchester City have also been linked with him in recent years.
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