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Alexandre Pato leaves AC Milan – What does this mean?
After weeks of transfer speculation, AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato officially signed for Brazilian side Corinthians on Thursday night. A sum of €15 million (£12 million) will go to Milan as Pato puts pen to paper on a four year contract. It’s a move that will benefit the teams involved along with the player himself, but how exactly?
For Corinthians, they’re getting a young, energetic striker who scored 63 goals in 150 appearances in Italy, and 75 in 177 overall, in spite of a history of chronic injuries. Some have considered these injuries permanent but according to Tim Vickery of BBC Sport, the Club World Cup winners’ physios may be able to bring him back to top form. If that turns out to be the case, it would be one of the steals of the decade. This signing also adds even more firepower to an already strong squad. The Timão have won the Copa Libertadores, their fifth national title back in 2011, and the aforementioned Club World Cup last month after beating Chelsea in the final. If everything falls into place, Alexandre Pato might be the final piece that could really send Corinthians over the top in South American football.
About a year ago, AC Milan received an offer from PSG for Alexandre Pato, but rejected it which may not have been the smartest move. They could’ve had up to €40 million (£32.5 million) if they had accepted the proposal, but nonetheless, the Rossoneri still benefit from this sale. Firstly, they free up wages which weren’t going to a good cause since Pato was injured, and even if he was healthy, he wasn’t match fit and would get set back by even more knocks to his leg. Second, this means that CEO Adriano Galliani has some funds to bring in another striker, which is something he’s keen on doing. Does that mean he pursues Mario Balotelli or Didier Drogba? Only time will tell, but at least the club has some money to spend. Galliani just needs to make sure he invests wisely.
As for Pato himself, this move will help him immensely. He’s only 23 years old, and returning to Brazil can only be a positive since he’s familiar with the surroundings. In addition, his new team clearly have confidence in his abilities or else they wouldn’t have worked so hard to get him. The former Internacional product will be respected and won’t have the weight of the world on his shoulders since there are other attackers who can play ahead of him if necessary. The front office and coaching staff are also aware of his injury background so they’ll be patient and that will keep Pato’s confidence up. Last and most importantly, if the striker has a clean bill of health and finds his goal scoring form, he could get a callup for Luis Felipe Scolari’s Seleção squad for the 2014 World Cup. Pato could be the primary starter up front, so he has extra motivation to perform.