Arsene Wenger has made contact with Corinthians over the availability of Brazil striker Alexandre Pato after the Arsenal manager met with one of his former players to discuss a January transfer.
Wenger has admitted that he is open to making new signings in January after seeing his squad decimated by injuries this season, especially in midfield where he has been without Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey for most of the campaign so far, with Francis Coquelin also ruled out for three months.
However, injury has also hit his attacking options with Theo Walcott suffering a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined since the end of October, and after heading into the season with just Olivier Giroud for back-up Wenger now looks short on options.
That has led him to meet with former Arsenal midfielder Edu Gaspar, the former Brazil midfielder who was part of the famous ‘Invincibles’ squad and is now part of the set-up at Corinthians. Edu confirmed that the two have met and, among many other things, discussed the future of 26-year-old Pato.
“I wasn’t there to tout him [Pato] around but if people ask about him, I’m going to answer,” said the Corinthians director of football.
“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.”
Edu also posted a picture alongside Wenger to confirm the meeting, while Wenger spoke on Thursday morning of his transfer plans ahead of the weekend trip to Norwich.
The former Inter and AC Milan forward, who won Uefa’s Golden Boy award in 2009 after impressing with the Rossoneri, has suffered a dramatic dip in form in recent years that saw him leave Italy and return to Brazil, although Corinthians have loaned him out to Sao Paulo for both the 2014 and 2015 Brasileiro Serie A campaigns.
Corinthians are clearly trying to move Pato on having signed him for £12.18m in January 2013, and both Tottenham and Liverpool have also been linked with the Brazilian as switch to the Premier League continues to look the most likely option for the out-of-sorts striker.
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