Alexandre Pato arrived at Chelsea in the closing days of the winter transfer window but needed two months of intense fitness training just to be able to make his debut. The striker ended up playing just 2 matches, scoring a single goal from the penalty spot in his substitute appearance and missing two good chances in his lone start.
Despite his general lack of production, Pato's future is far from obvious. His loan at Chelsea is set to end next month, officially, but we do have a reported €12 million buy option. Corinthians would prefer to sell, but are also open to having him back. And so, we wait, alongside Pato's agent, Gilmar Veloz, for the two clubs to make up their minds.
"We don't know how it will be, since his contract lasts until [June] 30th. As for his purchase, this is between clubs. We will wait to see what Chelsea and Corinthians decide about it."
-Gilmar Veloz; source: Globo Esporte
Corinthians' hopes of a sale lie in Chelsea's new manager Antonio Conte, who's been rumoured to favour Pato staying at Chelsea, though preliminary discussions are already ongoing.
"We will wait to see how things will go in regards to the manager [Antonio Conte], but it's obvious that we've been in talks [with Chelsea] already."
-Edu Gaspar; Source: Globo Esporte
Pato's contract with Corinthians ends on December 31st, at which point he will be free to go to any other club on a free transfer. This explains part of Corinthians' desperation to sell the player, especially after spending R$43 million (around €10.9 million in current exchange rates) when they bought him from AC Milan in 2013.
The Brazilian currency's weakness compared with the euro and the pound sterling might make Pato's wages and transfer fee more attractive in comparison with other players of the same status who are based in Europe, but the R$200,000 (around €50,200 in current exchange rates) weekly earnings from his deal with Corinthians are still the highest in the Brazilian leagues.
Chelsea are basically Corinthians' last hope to recoup a decent chunk of the investment made in Pato. Will Chelsea be the heroes they need, or will we be just a footnote in the 26-year-old's short yet already storied career.