SportSoccer

Chelsea roll the transfer dice to sign Alexandre Pato

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Pato on his way to Chelsea
Pato on his way to Chelsea

Chelsea's reluctance to make permanent signings before they have a new manager in place has seen the Stamford Bridge club agree to a deal to bring Brazilian star Alexandre Pato, in one of the highest profile deals of this this month's quiet transfer window.

Pato flew into London on Wednesdat to finalise his move from Corinthians, with the 26-year-old eager to kick-start his career in European football after a slump in fortunes in recent years.

"I’m so happy. I stay here for my dream. Chelsea is my new home," declared Pato on arriving in England.

"Thanks to Chelsea for support. Thanks to my fans for support on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

“I need to play. I don’t know what to say because I’m so happy. I’m very anxious [to play] and I want to know my new friends and players in the team. I really want to play in Chelsea.”

Pato has long been linked with a move to England, but the inflated price tag that was once attached to him has been replaced by a much more modest fee as he has slipped out of the limelight in recent years.

Once hailed as the next great star to Brazilian soccer sensation, Pato struggled to make his mark at AC Milan, with injuries and a dip in form contribution to his slide down the game's pecking order.

So much so that Pato's imminent capture by Chelsea - which has yet to be confirmed by the fallen Premier League champions - is now seen as something of a gamble.

Assuming there are no last minute hitches, Pato should be signed in time to make his Premier League debut against Watford at Vicarage Road next Wednesday.

His arrival at Chelsea is also likely to trigger the exit of Loic Remy, who is the subject of transfer interest from relegation-haunted Newcastle.