Corinthians sporting director and former Arsenal midfielder Edu Gaspar has admitted that Arsene Wenger enquired about striker Alexandre Pato, who is said to be available for transfer during the January transfer window. The Brazilian international has had an impressive season with loan club Sao Paulo, but his temporary stay with the club will end on 31 December after which he will return to his parent club.
According to the Mirror, the Brazilian Serie A champions are keen to offload the forward on whom they spent €15m (£10.5m, $16m) in 2013 and have sounded out a number of clubs about his availability. Apart from the Gunners, Liverpool are also said to be interested in signing the striker, while Tottenham and Manchester United have also been linked with a move for the forward.
Edu, who was in London, confirmed that he met up with Arsenal, and the Frenchman enquired about the former AC Milan forward among others. He made it clear that his intention to meet Premier League clubs was not to 'tout' the forward around, but he was willing to talk about him to interested parties, which indicates that the club are clearly looking to offload him in January.
"I wasn't there to tout him around but if people ask about him, I'm going to answer," Edu said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"I talked and they asked questions – not just about him, but about a few of our players. They know them well. I had lunch with Arsene Wenger and he asked about [Pato] and about others," the former Arsenal midfielder added.
According to ESPN FC, Pato is keen on a move to England and could have a number of clubs interested in signing him following two impressive seasons for Sao Paulo on loan from Corinthians. The report claims that interested clubs can buy the Brazilian forward for around £11m ($16.6m) during the upcoming January transfer window.