Chelsea are expected to complete the signing of Alexandre Pato at some point on Wednesday afternoon.
The Brazilian, 26, was once hailed as one of the best teenage players in Europe, but injuries and confidence issues means he has not been seen in Europe since bolting back to his homeland in 2012.
Pato join the Blues on an initial six-month loan, despite initial reports that he was set for a permanent move of £8million. If his loan is successful Chelsea will likely loan him for another six months, then sign him for free this time next year after his contract expires.
Reports in Brazil claim that Chelsea got cold feet on a permanent deal after they realised how desperate parent club Corinthians were to get rid of 'the Duck'.
Pato has spent the last two seasons on loan at Sao Paulo after spending just a single season with Corinthians, despite the club splashing out £12m to bring him back.
How did Pato fall so far?
Once upon a time, Pato was being hailed as the heir to the Ronaldo's throne as Brazil's next Brazilian No 9. The simple answer for his decline is injuries.
After he burst onto the scene in Brazil as a 17-year-old with Internacional, the team where he spent his youth, AC Milan - then one of Europe's true giants and the reigning European champions - decided to spend £15m to bring him to Italy.
He was already known internationally, becoming the youngest player to score in a Fifa competition when, at 17 and 102 days, he beat Pele's record by scoring in the 2006 Club World Cup.
Pato signed for Milan in August but his debut had to wait until January, where he made an instant impact for the Rossoneri. He scored on his debut in a 5-2 win and had an excellent half-season, scoring nine goals in 20 matches.
The next year, 2008-09, he was even better, scoring 18 goals in all competitions to finish as Milan's top scorer. He was named Serie A Young Player of the Year for 2009 and his good form continued over the next season and a half - despite often playing as a winger, he was able to score in double figures in each of the next two seaons. However, despite his obvious talentm niggling injuries had started to creep into his game, with regular hamstring injuries a constant scourge - he suffered three serious hamstring setbacks in less than a year which led to other trouble with his calf and thighs.
Big January transfers that may go through this week
Big January transfers that may go through this week
1/6 Loic Remy - Chelsea to Leicester City, £11.5m
The ex-QPR and Newcastle striker look set to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge. The signing of Brazillian forward Alexandre Pato means that the French international is now considered surplus to requirements at the champions. Whilst Newcastle and Crystal Palace has been interested in the player he now looks set to be heading to high-flying Leicester City. An £11.5m bid from Claudio Ranieri is expected to mean that Remy will join Jamie Vardy and Riyah Mahrez at the King Power stadium.
2/6 Alex Teixeira - Shakhtar Donetsk to Liverpool, £30m
Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, is in the midst of an injury crisis at Anfield with Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings and Divock Origi all out. January is a notoriously challenging time to do business of this magnitude so the Reds’ offer for Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira should be commended. Scoring 15 goals in just 22 appearances for the Ukrainian outfit, Liverpool have already failed with two offers, worth £24.5m and £28m respectively, as the transfer window hurtles along. Expect Klopp to go in with a late bid before deadline day.
3/6 Mathieu Debuchy - Arsenal to Sunderland or Aston Villa, six-month loan
Sunderland have reportedly joined fellow Premier League strugglers Aston Villa in the race to sign Mathieu Debuchy. The Arsenal full-back has fallen out-of-favour at the Emirates this season and will be allowed to leave on loan if the Gunners receive a financial package which matches their valuation. Remi Garde, the Villa manager, has pursued Debuchy’s signature all month but has been frustrated with the lack of progress made.
4/6 Saido Berahino - West Brom to Newcastle or Tottenham, £23m
The unsettled West Bromwich Albion striker is stirring for a move away from the Hawthorns. Tottenham had two bids rejected for the forward in the Summer but are yet to move in for the former England Under 21s man. Whilst Spurs may move late on deadline day to secure a deal they could also face competition from Newcastle. Steve McClaren is thought to be interested in bringing Berahino to the club to form an English triumvirate with Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend. However, Albion chairman Jeremy Peace is thought to be unwilling to sell to a relegation rival.
5/6 Eder - Sampdoria to Leicester City, £10m
Leicester City have been linked with a £10m move for Sampdoria and Italy striker Éder as manager Claudio Ranieri looks for a new forward to spearhead their title challenge. The Foxes are three points clear atop of the Premier League table following the 3-0 demolition of Stoke City on Saturday, but recently offloaded Andrej Kramarić on loan to Hoffenheim for the rest of the season. Sky Sports Italia report Leicester are prepared to meet Sampdoria’s valuation for the 29-year-old, who has scored twice in eight appearances for the Azzurri.
6/6 Renato Sanches - Benfica to Manchester United, £30m
The name of Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches has dominated most of Manchester United's transfer talk in the window's closing stages. The youngster has a £60million release clause but the Portuguese club may be willing to strike a deal for half that amount.
His injuries saw the quality of his game sharply decline, especially his pace which had set him apart in his younger years. Pato had been a regular under Brazil manager Mano Menezes but new boss Dunga opted not to include him in his squad for the 2010 World Cup, instead picking Luis Fabiano, Nilmar and Grafite as the strikers. In January 2012, Pato was close to joining Paris Saint-Germain but decided to stay in Milan - just days later he suffered a thigh strain that ended his season with him having played just 18 matches in all competitions.
A year later, with only seven more AC Milan appearances to his name, he joined Corinthians for a massive fee.
Pato scored with his first touch for his new club but the relationship soon turned sour and he was criticised by fans, media and even manager Tite for his poor performances. After scoring only nine goals in 30 matches he was sent to local rivals Sao Paulo on loan. He has generally been better the past two seasons, scoring 38 goals in 95 matches, helping the club finish second in the Brazilian Serie A in 2014.
Pato last played for Brazil in 2013 and is nowhere near the current squad.
What can Chelsea expect?
The first thing to note is that Pato appears to be over his injury woes. He managed to play 56 matches in all competitions for Sao Paulo in 2015 and is playing with much greater confidence and freedom of movement than he showed in his final years in Italy.
Mostly playing as a central striker who likes to drift left and right, Pato still clearly has superior skill to his opponents in what is, frankly, a poor quality league.
In the last year Pato has shown he is capable of scoring all types of goals, with his left, right and head, from inside and outside the box.
Pato can shoot with either foot and routinely showed he was able to beat a man with a flash of skill or burst of pace.
When operating wide he is a willing passer and creator and when given a one-on-one chance he has shown a cool head.
The 26-year-old is not as fast as he was, but he still has enough of a burst to take him past all but the quickest of defenders - his movement is excellent, although again, the defending in Brazil is not the best.
For the Blues this is a relatively low-risk move. Diego Costa is definitely the first-choice, the arrival of Pato does not change that at all. He is not likely to start a huge number of games and will instead be used as an impact substitute or to give Costa some rest in matches of lesser importance.
Chelsea have a complete lack of striking options with Radamel Falcao a shadow of his former self and Loic Remy, although never given a chance, proving against Arsenal that he is no longer interested in playing for the club.
By bringing in the Brazilian on loan, Chelsea get a chance to assess him and see if he really is capable of reaching the level so many thought he would as a youngster.Reuse content