Pato for Chelsea

LONDON. — Chelsea have verbally agreed a deal to sign Brazil striker Alexandre Pato. According to ESPN Brasil, the move has been finalised with Chelsea paying up to £7.7m to get him.

Pato is desperate to join Chelsea after being offered a three-year contract.

Pato (26) and his advisers held talks with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s trusted transfer fixer Marina Granovskaia on Tuesday night.

Chelsea are now hoping to thrash out a cut-price deal with Pato’s club Corinthians, who are desperate to sell after the ex-AC Milan star fell out of favour in Brazil.

But Pato’s camp believe the deal is close and are confident that it can get done after personal terms were offered and Corinthians gave him the green light to negotiate a move.

Corinthians still want around £8m and that could be a sticking point with Chelsea unlikely to meet that price with so many doubts over Pato.

Pato is not Chelsea’s first choice and his fall from grace after being seen as Brazil’s biggest new star – after a series of off-the-field and fitness problems – remains a concern and Corinthians have publicly stated they want shot of him.

Chelsea are becoming desperate with Radamel Falcao proving to be a disaster after his season-long loan signing from Monaco.

Loic Remy is also keen to leave having failed to win a regular place and has been overlooked even when no other strikers are fit. Diego Costa currently has a shin injury and is “50-50” for the trip to Arsenal on Sunday.

Chelsea are looking at strikers like Saido Berahino, Jamie Vardy and Odio Ighalo but none look likely for January.

Pato is seen as a last resort but it may be a gamble they are ready to take to save their season.

Pato has not played since November after being allowed to sort out his future and that means he is a long way from match fitness.

But Chelsea are clearly considering it and it is an option with Pato and his advisers believing the deal could get done. — The Daily Star.

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