Chelsea are believed to be the new favourites to sign Brazil striker Alexandre Pato after holding talks with his current club Corinthians over a January transfer, with manager Guus Hiddink determined to boost his attacking options beyond over-relying on Diego Costa.
The Blues not so much stumbled out of the blocks this season as they did collapse, with a dismal run of form resulting in Jose Mourinho being sacked. But with Costa struggling for goals and other key players such as Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas suffering a large dip in form, there was little that Mourinho could do given that Radamel Falcao suffered a string of niggling injuries as well as Loic Remy’s failure to fire on all cylinders.
Mourinho was adamant that he would not ask the board to make transfers when the January window opener, although Hiddink looks set to do so in a bid to keep any hopes of a top four finish alive this season.
One of those options looks to be the former AC Milan striker Pato, and after Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp categorically denied making a bid for the 26-year-old, Chelsea have emerged as the new favourites to land Pato with the Telegraph reporting that talks are already underway.
Chelsea also have an interest in signing AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, while unsettled West Bromwich striker Saido Berahino has been linked as a possible recruitment. However, their interest is yet to materialise into anything more and a January bid looks very unlikely given Milan and Leicester have no intention of selling and Berahino looks likely to join Spurs should West Brom allow him to leave.
That leaves Chelsea’s options somewhat hamstrung, and with Pato admitting in December that he would welcome a move to England, he could be a short-term fix for the Stamford Bridge outfit. However, it’s added that Chelsea would need to meet Corinthians’ £10m valuation, and given Pato’s dramatic fall from grace since winning Uefa’s Golden Boy award in 2009 when he was voted the most impressive young footballer across the continent, Chelsea would need to weigh up whether he would be worth the outlay.
Speaking to the Telegraph last month, Pato said: “I would like to come to England because I think the championship [Premier League] is the No1 in the world.
“I want to write a new story in Europe, to make a new history. I want to come to win the championship and play again in the Champions League. I have dreams again. I want to create this new story, a good new story.”
Chelsea have also been linked with a move for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Alex Teixeira, although the in-form attacking midfielder would not be a viable solution to Hiddink’s problems up front.
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