Catalan publication Mundo Deportivo has claimed that Barcelona are the latest team to have been offered the services of Alexandre Pato, after the La Liga giants gave up on the signing of Nolito. Arsene Wenger has been linking with both players ahead of the January transfer window, with it being highly predicted that an attacker is on their way to Arsenal.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has also openly expressed his desire to strength his forward options in the mercato, after the departure of Pedro Rodriguez to Chelsea left him without a proven back-up option for the attacking triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. Nolito was said to be the manager's first choice but reports recently suggested the club wanted a cheaper alternative as they were unwilling to meet his €18m (£12.95m, $19.5) release clause. AS recently reported Wenger would be more than willing to pay that figure.
Mundo Deportivo now insists that Barcelona have all but given up in their intentions to sign Nolito, and would instead prefer a loan move for the Brazilian striker.
Pato has been linked with a return to Europe in recent weeks after he regained his old form on loan at Sao Paulo from Corinthians. Corinthians are reported to be unlikely to get him back full-time and have sounded out a number of clubs with regards to a January move, as his Sao Paolo stay ends on 31 December.
Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United have been linked with him, while Corinthians sporting director and former Arsenal midfielder Edu Gaspar recently revealed that Wenger had also enquired about his services.
Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona are the latest outfit to be offered him as a new year signing. They claim the club are yet to make a decision on a move, but Enrique's first choice of Nolito is "not an option unless a miracle occurs".