Sunday 22 April 2018

£12m Pato in 'verbal agreement' to join Chelsea

Reports in Brazil claim the 26-year-old striker has agreed to join Chelsea and all that is needed is his signature to complete the move

Alexandre Pato
Alexandre Pato

Jack De Menzes

Chelsea are believed to have agreed a deal to sign Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato, with the last remaining hurdle the players signature before completing a January transfer thought to be in the region of £12m.

ESPN Brazil is reporting that the two clubs have agreed on a fee for the 26-year-old Brazil striker, who has also been linked with the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool this month, but it’s claimed that a verbal agreement is already in place between the player and the Blues over an immediate move.

The former AC Milan forward has openly expressed his desire to move to the Premier League.

Speaking to the Telegraph last month, Pato said: “I would like to come to England because I think the championship [Premier League] is the No1 in the world.

“I want to write a new story in Europe, to make a new history. I want to come to win the championship and play again in the Champions League. I have dreams again. I want to create this new story, a good new story.”

ESPN claim that Pato will sign a £1.77m-a-year contract at Stamford Bridge, which equates to around £35,000-a-week, although it is not clear if the fee is before or after tax reductions.

Pato has already rejected a €9m-a-uear deal to join Chinese second-tier side Tianjin Quanjian, and he has made it clear that he wants to return to Europe three years after leaving AC Milan with England his preferred destination.

Liverpool had been tipped to be leading the race for Pato early in January, but manager Jürgen Klopp categorically ruled out a move for the 27-time capped Brazil international, leaving Chelsea to take up the role as favourites to gain his signature.

Having won Uefa’s Gold Boy award in 2009 after being voted the most promising youngster in Europe, Pato has suffered a rapid decline which saw him fall out-of-favour at Milan and move back to his homeland in 2013 to join Corinthians, only for the Brazilian club to send him on loan to Sao Paulo a year later where he scored 26 goals in 61 appearances over two years with the club.

Should the move be completed before noon on Friday, Pato could be eligible to play against Arsenal in their Premier League encounter at the Emirates, although it would depend on Pato being granted a work permit first.

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink is known to be keen on adding at least one striker to his squad given the lack of support that Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao have offered first-choice forward Diego Costa this season, though the Dutch interim manager could yet be forced to add another striker if Monaco go ahead with plans to recall Falcao.

The Colombian is currently recovering from a thigh injury, but the Telegraph reports that officials at the Ligue 1 club are considering bringing the 29-year-old back to the Principality in a bid to get him match fit with a view to playing him throughout the second half of the season.

(© Independent News Service)

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