Premier league rivals Arsenal and Tottenham could lock horns in the January transfer window after being alerted to the potential availability of Alexandre Pato.
The 24-year-old Brazilian forward is said to be growing increasingly frustrated with his treatment from both the hierarchy and fans of Corinthians, potentially paving the way for a route back to Europe.
Injuries ultimately put a premature end to Pato’s AC Milan career, with the Serie A giants cashing in on the promising striker by sending back to his homeland.
However, with Pato looking to cement a place in Brazil’s World Cup squad – in order to realise his dream of playing on the biggest stage of all in front of adoring home fans – the move to Corinthians seemed to suit all parties.
But things have been less than smooth since his return despite the striker being the club’s top scorer by some distance this season.
Reports suggest Pato is feeling increasingly marginalised by fans – who believe his signing contributed to the loss of Paulinho – and exasperated by a lack of backing from the club.
The situation came to a head when the striker was dropped from the side after missing a penalty against former team-mate Dida in the Copa do Brasil.
The player’s desire to be a first team regular and Corinthians’ reputation for appeasing fans appear to be edging Pato closer and closer to the exit door.
And, after missing out on primary targets Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain in the summer, Arsenal could be prepared to move in the winter break to bolster their attacking options.
The Gunners are 4/1 to claim the league title and end their eight-year barren spell after a blistering start to the new campaign and manager Arsene Wenger will be keen to add to his squad to provide cover and boost competition.
Pato’s valuation is rumoured to be around the £17m mark and with the player free to play in the Champions League there a few options that will be more appealing to the Frenchman.
However, Spurs, who were credited with a healthy interest in the player last summer, enjoy an ongoing relationship with the Brazilian outfit following the successful capture of Paulinho and could be in a better position to do business.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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