Chelsea are considering cutting their loses and cancelling Alexandre Pato’s loan contract before the end of the season, with the striker currently earning £30,000-a-week without making a single appearance since completing his January move from Corinthians.
The 26-year-old forward arrived at Chelsea extremely short on match fitness, having not played since last year, and the Brazil international was afforded time to train by manager Guus Hiddink in an effort to return to the level expected to compete in the Premier league.
Pato was brought in to offer support to lead striker Diego Costa given that alternative options Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao were both struggling with injury and a lack of form. But despite Chelsea including Pato in their squads for both the Premier League and Champions League, he is yet to make his debut for the club and was left as an unused substitute twice earlier this month.
The Evening Standard reports that Chelsea are now pondering whether to end Pato’s time in London prematurely, with Hiddink leaving the Brazilian out of his squad for the Champions League defeat by Paris Saint-Germain as well as the FA Cup exit at the hands of Everton last weekend.
To make matters worse for Pato, Hiddink confirmed that 20-year-old forward Bertrand Traore had moved ahead of the former AC Milan striker in the striker pecking order, and even though Costa faces a possible ban after being charged for improper conduct by the FA for his sending-off against Everton, Pato is unlikely to feature.
Both Traore and Remy have been preferred by Hiddink in recent matches, while Falcao has finally returned to training following five months out with a thigh injury.
There was scope for Chelsea to make the loan move permanent should Pato impress during his time at Stamford Bridge, but he may now struggle to see out the six-month loan and could end up costing Corinthians if he runs down his contract – which expires at the end of the year – and leaves the Brazilian side on a free transfer.
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