Pato move in Jeopardy? Chelsea eye replacement in former United, Arsenal star

Sankha Ghosh / 27 January 2016
Chelsea star could return to his former club, says president

Chelsea have made a surprising move for former Manchester United star Robin van Persie.

32-year-old van Persie is enduring a miserable spell in Turkey at Fenerbahce since he joined the Turkish giants from Manchester United.

Reports are suggesting if Chelsea fail to complete a loan deal for Corinthians’ Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato on Wednesday, they will start their proceedings for van Persie, according to a report from Daily Express.

With Radamel Falcao still sidelined with injury, Chelsea now desperately looking for a striker as a cover to the first choice striker Diego Costa and, as the deal for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Alex Teixeira now seems unlikely this January and with Liverpool also favourite to sign him, doubts over Pato’s fitness and form led Chelsea to make a move for van Persie on a short-term deal for the rest of the season.

Manchester United sold van Persie to Fenerbahce last summer, signing Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven. But life in Turkey didn’t go well for van Persie. Fenerbahce manager Victor Pereira has left the Dutch from his starting eleven quite often and he is struggling to cope up with this kind of decision.

Though there are continuous rumours about van Persie leaving his current club, Fenerbahce manager Victor Pereira has repeatedly denied there was any problem in his relationship with the Dutch striker.

However, Pato arrived in London on Tuesday night and is expected to complete a medical on Wednesday afternoon. If all goes well then he will sign a six-month contract, with Chelsea paying his £30,000-a-week wages. They will have a chance to sign the Brazilian forward permanently on a three-year deal at the end of this season for a £12million fee.

A work permit for Pato is believed to be granted on appeal keeping in mind the new points system, because of the stature of the club he is joining for and the wages he will be paid afterwards.

The Brazilian striker bagged 26 goals in 56 appearances for Sao Paulo last term after being loaned out by Corinthians, where he had fallen out of favour and the problem is that he hasn’t played since the Brazilian season finished back in November.

With the expectations remaining low, a potential loan to Stamford Bridge gives the former AC Milan forward the opportunity to prove he’s worthy of a permanent move to Chelsea, or, at least, put himself in the transfer window to other potential bidders from Premier League at the end of this season.

Pato could still become an effective player in European football. With his skills are well suited to the playing style of Premier League, and before his major hamstring injuries at AC Milan, the most important quality he was gifted with, apart from technique, was his speed. During his time with Milan, Pato’s style of play was generally bolstered with running behind the defensive lines with the help of former Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo. Including inside the box, Pato used to drag opponents into a one-on-one situation inside the area.

His arrival suggests that Loic Remy might move out, as Leicester, Newcastle and Crystal Palace all keen on the France striker.

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