Chelsea are reportedly set to make a move for former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie should their deal to sign Alexandre Pato fall through.
According to Tony Banks in the Express, the Blues have begun eyeing a move for Van Persie—currently at Fenerbahce—on a short-term deal as there are "doubts about Pato's fitness and form."
The Blues need added back-up at Stamford Bridge for star striker Diego Costa, with the current options—Loic Remy and an injured and out-of-form Radamel Falcao—hardly inspiring.
Pato is seemingly the No. 1 choice and is set to have his medical in London on Wednesday ahead of signing a six-month loan deal worth £30,000 a week, per Dominic Fifield in the Guardian.
However, should an issue emerge which jeopardises the Brazilian's move to west London, Van Persie is reportedly the next option.
Equally, the Dutchman may be a useful addition at Chelsea in any case, as Remy is set to depart the club if Pato arrives, per French football journalist Andrew Gibney:
Van Persie has long been rumoured as unhappy at Fener, per Callum Davis in the Telegraph.
He joined the Turkish giants in the summer from United having lost his first-team place at Old Trafford.
The 32-year-old has hardly been in scintillating form in the Turkish Super Lig, but a return off seven goals in 866 minutes is far from disastrous, per WhoScored.com.
Clearly Van Persie still knows where the back of the net is, and his Premier League experience is vast.
Pato's signing is a big risk. The Corinthians star has not played competitively since November—since returning from a two-season loan spell with Sao Paulo—but the Blues believe he has something to offer, per Bleacher Report's Dean Jones:
However, Pato has a history of injury problems which curtailed his career at AC Milan, and if his fitness concerns return in the Premier League, Chelsea could be left very short up front.
Van Persie would be a reliable addition for the Blues, almost guaranteed to score a handful of goals if given enough game time.
The reaction from United and Arsenal fans would likely be unforgiving should Van Persie make the switch to Stamford Bridge, but he would provide excellent cover for Costa whether or not Pato also joins the Blues.