Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato is on the verge of joining Chelsea after verbally agreeing terms with the club over a January move. The former AC Milan forward is desperate to return to Europe following three seasons in his homeland.
According to the Mirror, the Blues have offered the forward a three-year deal to move to Stamford Bridge, as they look to bring in cover for Diego Costa. The report claims that Pato's representatives have already held talks with the Premier League champions' transfer fixer Marina Granovskaia with only the fee yet to be agreed with the Brazilian club.
Corinthians are desperate to get the striker off their wage list and are hoping to secure at least £8m ($11.3) for the forward, but Chelsea are hoping to thrash out a deal for much lower than their valuation. The report suggests that the striker's team are confident of completing a move in the near future with negotiations at an advanced stage.
Meanwhile, according to The Guardian, the Blues are still wary of a permanent deal for a forward, who has not played in Europe since 2013, and are pondering a loan move until the end of the season with a view to a permanent offer at the end of the campaign. Pato is not Chelsea's first option to address their lack of goals this season, but following their failure to lure Leicester City's Jamie Vardy and Shakhtar Donetsk's Alex Teixiera, they are willing to take a punt on the Brazilian. He can provide able backup to Costa, who has shown signs of getting back to his best form in recent games.
The 27-year-old forward is keen to play in the Premier League and has admitted to speaking to compatriots Willian and Philippe Coutinho, who ply their trade in the English top-flight with Chelsea and Liverpool respectively. The striker will need a work-permit as he is a non-EU player, while his match fitness is in question due to the lack of first-team football since the end of the Brazilian league in December.
Pato's arrival at Stamford Bridge could signal the departure of Radamel Falcao, who has had a disastrous campaign thus far following his arrival on a season-long loan from AS Monaco last summer. He is currently injured, but could see his loan cut short before the end of the current transfer window.
Loic Remy is also looking at a way out after being overlooked by the manager, but is unlikely to be allowed to go as that will leave Diego Costa as the club's only recognised striker. Moreover, the Spain international is currently injured, and is rated as doubtful for Chelsea's crucial clash against Arsenal on 24 January.