Arsenal have had an offer of almost £7 million for Corinthians' Alexandre Pato rejected, according to Lancenet journalists Felipe Bolguese and Renato Rodrigues.
The report, which emerged in England on Monday via the Mirror's Alex Richards, suggests there is a very real possibility Pato will leave the club, where fans have begun to turn on him following a season of poor performances.
However, the club are still said to be hopeful of regaining their €12 million investment, with the Arsenal offer falling some way short.
Pheonix Sports (Chinese) recently confirmed contact with Pato from Chinese side Shandong Luneng, while the Express' James Dickenson reported interest from Tottenham, so they may still get somewhere close to their valuation yet.
The attraction ofPato is clear. Despite his woeful form of recent months, he has a track record of scoring goals in top-level competition from his time with AC Milan in Italy. However, injuries have taken their toll on his once highly promising career.
Largely due to Brazil's chronic lack of top-class No. 9s at present, Pato is still in with a strong chance of making Luizzing feat considering he now rarely starts for his club.
Those chances of selection, then, will likely influence his next step, meaning Europe rather than the riches of the Far East is a much more attractive destination.
If any interested party can get him fit and confident for an extended period of time, he could prove to be a bargain. However, his history with injury would suggest that is somewhat implausible—although he has enjoyed a sustained spell of fitness since returning to Brazil.
The report also suggests that all might not be lost for Pato at Corinthians quite yet. Despite his laughable penalty attempt against Gremio in the Copa do Brasil seemingly being the last straw for many fans, new manager Mano Menezes was keen to involve Pato when in charge of the national team.
It won't be easy for Arsenal to secure his signature, with a number of variables still in play. Get him fit and firing, though, and anything under €15 million would be a real bargain.
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