Chelsea in talks to sign Liverpool target Pato
Published 15/01/2016 | 02:30
Chelsea have held talks over signing Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato as the club aim to improve their options up front this month.
Interim manager Guus Hiddink has admitted Chelsea need greater strength in depth in attack, following injuries to Loic Remy and Radamel Falco, and Pato now hopes to complete a move to the club.
Chelsea have checked on Carlos Bacca, but AC Milan do not want to let the Colombian go this month. There is also strong interest in Jamie Vardy, but Leicester City are desperate to hang on to him.
Pato, though, has made clear his desire to move to the Premier League and Corinthians value the 26-year-old at around £10m, which is much less than £30m-rated Vardy would cost. Chelsea could push for an initial loan with a view to a permanent transfer if he is a success.
The former AC Milan striker would be eligible to play in the Champions League and would increase Chelsea's Brazilian first-team contingent of Willian, Oscar, Ramires and Kenedy.
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Pato was one of the most highly rated strikers in the world when he moved to Italy in 2007, but injuries interrupted his progress and he returned to Brazil three years ago to join Corinthians. Liverpool have also been heavily linked with the striker.
While on loan for the majority of the 2014/15 campaign at Sao Paulo, Pato scored 26 goals in 59 appearances, which fired them into the Libertadores Cup. It is unclear whether signing Pato would mean Chelsea drop their interest in Vardy or whether they could go for the Leicester man as well and allow Remy, whom several clubs want, to leave during this transfer window.
Chelsea are increasingly confident that Branislav Ivanovic will formally agree a further extension to his contract following positive negotiations over a deal that could stretch to 2018.
Elsewhere, Everton have had a £5m bid accepted for Leeds' 22-year-old defender Sam Byram.