Alexandre Pato
Alexandre Pato is a reported target for Chelsea and Liverpool in January Getty

Chelsea and Liverpool are set for transfer battle in signing Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato in January. The 26-year-old was at AC Milan from 2007 to 2012 and is now targeting a return to Europe.

The Independent has claimed that the Brazil international is looking to leave his homeland and has set his sights on playing in the Premier League. His employers are also open in letting the player leave as they want him out of their wage bill.

Pato spent the 2014/15 campaign on loan at Sao Paulo and was the star player for them. He scored 26 goals in 59 appearances and his contribution was key for the South American club to seal a berth in next season's Libertadores Cup.

Corinthians value Pato at around £11m ($15.8m) and are looking to part ways in the midseason transfer window. The report stated that Liverpool are front runners in securing the services of the former Milan striker.

However, the South American would prefer a switch to Chelsea over Liverpool as he targets to play in England in the ongoing campaign. In December, Pato expressed his desire to play in the Premier League and revealed Chelsea were interested in him before joining Milan.

"Before I came to Italy to play for Milan in 2007, I saw in the papers that my name was mentioned in connection with some English clubs," Sky Sports quoted Pato as saying.

"I was told Chelsea were interested but my dream was to play with Ronaldo. When Milan called my manager, I wanted to go there to make my dreams of playing with Ronaldo and [Paolo] Maldini come true.

"But one day I knew I would like to come to England because I think the Premier League is the number one in the world. It is very competitive. I like the emotion in the English league. You look at the TV and you see the stadium and the fans," he added.