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On-loan striker set to stay at Chelsea, Antonio Conte is 'keen admirer' — report

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On the plus side, we're not talking similarly on-loan striker Radamel Falcao.  That situation seems to be resolving in the only way it makes any sense whatsoever: Falcao leaving at the end of the season and returning to Monaco and then going to wherever he may go next (River Plate?  Wildlife reserve?  Arctic expedition?  Moon base?).

We're talking about Alexandre Pato, our youngest striker not named Bertrand Traoré.  Apparently, at least "Sky Sports News HQ sources" would have you believe, incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is a "keen admirer" of the 26-year-old one-time wonderkid from Brazil and thus Corinthians, Pato's parent club, are expecting him to "remain at Chelsea next season".

While Corinthians' president Roberto de Andrade recently revealed that they would welcome back Pato if Chelsea don't exercise the buy-option built into the loan contract, they would hardly have another alternative at that point.  Pato's contract with the Brazilian side doesn't actually expire until the end of the calendar year, coincident with the end of the Brazilian national championship.

But, if Sky's correct, Corinthians won't have to worry about any of that, or trying to figure out a next move for Pato in the six months of club control remaining.  Chelsea just might take up the €12m option on the striker and use him as a backup next season as well, a decision that would no doubt delight the young man.