Arsenal are set to battle North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur for the signature of Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato when the transfer window opens in January, according to reports in Daily Mail.
The 24 year old has scored eight goals in 24 appearances since sealing a £12.8 m return to South America from AC Milan in January 2013.
The Brazilian international is quoted by a Brazilian television channel stating that a switch to the Premier League to Spurs was on during the last transfer window:
Tottenham had called Corinthians to ask for my transfer. I sat at the table with the club and my agent and I decided I wanted to stay.
Pato burst onto the scene at San Siro as a precocious young talent, scoring on his Serie ‘A’ debut at the tender age of 17, against Italian rivals Napoli in 2007. He went on to establish himself as a first team regular by scoring 51 goals in 117 appearances for the club, but following the arrival of Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli he struggled to get regular games and became frustrated. He was later sold to Corinthians.
He seemed like a new player at Corinthians and has got his appetite back again, scoring 16 goals for his new club. He is quick, skilful and a very good manipulator of the ball he can also play in several positions, as a target man, or just off the front as well as on either flank.
The Gunners are currently relying on Olivier Giroud to net in a lone striker’s role, and should he stutter with a loss of form or receive an injury, the Emirates faithful have little to fall back on, Nicklas Bendtner is the only other fit striker at the North London club. The Brazilian has a contrasting style to Giroud and can act as a perfect foil for the Frenchman.
Arsenal will face stiff competition from London rivals Tottenham with reports suggesting that Andre Villa-Boas will go back for Pato in the January window. With the World Cup scheduled to take place next year, the Brazilian will look for regular playing time which suggests he may not look for a move until after the summer tournament.
He will be an excellent acquisition if Arsenal manage to sign him and he will also be allowed to play in this season’s Champions League should he arrive in January which is an added bonus considering many quality players in the winter window will be cup tied. He perfectly fits the bill for a Wenger-esque signing as he will come at a reasonable price and is also still relatively young.
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