Five years ago, this kind of deal would be considered a great purchase by any Premier League team, including Chelsea. But far removed from his AC Milan days, an Alexandre Pato transfer nowadays only raises apprehension from most onlookers, and yet, it seems that we are getting closer to a deal according to ESPN Brasil's Mauro Cezar Pereira.
The latest report on the Pato front claims that the player's and Chelsea's representatives - the latter led by club director Marina Granovskaia - have reached a verbal agreement on Tuesday, with the impending deal only needed to be put on paper and signed by both parties. Pato's transfer was delayed due to complications in the deal between AC Milan and Chinese club Jiangsu Suning for striker Luiz Adriano, which was conducted by Pato's agent Gilmar Veloz.
The terms are believed to be in the range of £8 million to £10 million for the transfer fee, and a three-year contract that would probably match his current (relatively small) wages. His current club Corinthians will receive 60% of the transfer fee after paying approximately £10.7 million to have Pato in their squad back in 2013.
The 26-year-old player hasn't had the same injury issues as in his AC Milan years, but these were dealt with at the cost of losing his speed in a way not dissimilar to previous Chelsea disappointment Fernando Torres. In the Brazilian League, Pato played mostly as a left winger for loan club São Paulo, claiming in an interview last year that he doesn't have the physique nor the frame to play as an out-and-out #9.
While his goalscoring record hasn't been that bad, many of his goals this year have come in matches against teams teams from São Paulo state regional championship, which aren't even good enough to be in the Brazilian League lower divisions. He also bagged a lot of goals in the Brazilian league during now-Mexican national team manager Juan Carlos Osorio's tenure, in which the team had great offensive fluidity and freedom, but was quite loose in defense.
Pato's transfer might have value for the little amount of money involved, but this remains to be a worrying trend nevertheless. If Pato is the best name that we can come up with as a January transfer window 'adjustment' signing, it's hard to think that our prospects going forward are too bright - or maybe that's just the panic taking over.