Alexandre Pato to Chelsea; Nemanja Vidic to Aston Villa; Granit Xhaka to Arsenal; Saido Berahino to Newcastle

All the latest transfer news and gossip from across Europe and beyond on the morning of January 21 

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Chelsea are closing in on the cut-price signing of Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato, according to several reports this morning. The 26-year-old is expected to sign a three-year deal at Stamford Bridge after the Blues agreed a fee in the region of £7m with Corinthians. Pato, a former AC Milan forward, is said by the Daily Mail to be keen on a return to Europe and is prepared to take a pay-cut in order to do so. Interim manager Guus Hiddink has prioritised a new striker this January amid the stuttering form of Diego Costa and the increasingly uncertain future of Loic Remy. 

Chelsea held talks with Pato's representatives and Corinthians on Tuesday night with Marina Granovskaia - club director and adviser to Roman Abramovich - instrumental to negotiations. If the terms can be agreed, the deal should be signed off before the end of the week – possibly in time for the trip to Arsenal.

Aston Villa are reportedly in talks to sign former Manchester United and Inter Milan defender Nemanja Vidic. The Premier League’s basement club, according to The Sun, hope to persuade the Serbian to join until the end of the season to help them avoid the drop. Vidic is a free agent after ending his time at at the San Siro, dogged by fitness issues, but Villa boss Remi Garde is desperate for reinforcements.

The report states that owner Randy Lerner has instructed the club’s scouts to find cheap alternatives just in case the Midlands club fall into the Championship. Garde’s men are ten points adrift at the bottom of the table and have the worst goal difference (-20) in the division. The Frenchman hopes Vidic, who lifted five titles at Old Trafford, can tighten up the backline this winter. 

Granit Xhaka

Arsenal target Granit Xhaka could leave Borussia Monchengladbach, says the club's sporting director Max Eberl. The Gunners have long been linked with a £37m swoop for the 23-year-old Switzerland international but seem willing to wait until the summer to get their man. “We have lost players like Reus and ter Stegen, Kruse and Kramer,” Erbel told Bild. “In the summer perhaps Granit Xhaka will go. We need a good mix between buying and selling to take the next step. After four successful years, we are not yet on a par with Bayern, Dortmund, Leverkusen, Schalke and Wolfsburg.”

Xhaka, who moved to the Stadion im Borussia-Park in the summer of 2012, is said to keen on a move to England after learning of Arsenal’s interest.  A string of impressive performances for Andre Schubert's side, however, have alerted Premier League rivals to his talents and could spark a bidding war.


Pedro wants to leave Chelsea to rescue his career after a disappointing five months in English football, according to the Daily Star. The Spaniard signed from Barcelona last summer for £21m but has been unable to prevent a worrying slide in fortunes at the London club. He has scored just three goals in 24 games and was hauled off at half-time by interim boss Hiddink after gifting West Brom a goal in the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge last week.

Nonetheless, the Dutchman is believed to be keen on keeping Pedro on his books at Stamford Bridge but the hierarchy, the report says, have other ideas. Valencia and Villarreal have shown an interest in the 28-year-old in the past and may be tempted to try their luck this January if such rumours persist.

Saido Berahino is keen to leave West Brom

Saido Berahino remains in the dark about his West Bromwich Albion future amid interest from Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Stoke City. The 22-year-old allegedly wants to leave the Hawthorns but has yet been unable to secure a switch away. Spurs appeared the favourites to sign Berahino last summer but a disagreement between the two chairmen scuppered the deal. Newcastle, eying a striker to spearhead their relegation battle, now appear to have stolen a march on their rivals.

The Baggies, according to the Daily Mirror, would prefer to do business with the Magpies to avoid sending their prized asset to White Hart Lane. Despite the former England under-21s star having just 18 months left on his contract, West Brom are determined to remain in charge of the situation and have shown their willingness to turn down big-money offers in the past.