The Campeonato Brasileiro Série A still has two matches to go, but with Corinthians already having the league wrapped up, the transfer rumors have begun popping up, and for Tottenham Hotspur, that means the re-kindling of a very familiar rumor.
Yahoo! Esportes Brazil are reporting that the agent of Alexandre Pato is on his way to London to negotiate a deal with Spurs. The article has a couple of excerpts involving other clubs, but the following paragraphs are the most important ones:
O Corinthians vive a expectativa de fechar, a qualquer momento, a venda de Alexandre Pato para o Tottenham, da Inglaterra. O empresário do atacante, Giuliano Bertolucci, e Kia Joorabchian estão em Londres, na Inglaterra, para definir os detalhes da proposta que será feita ao Timão.
A expectativa no Parque São Jorge é de que o Tottenham se disponha a pagar até R$ 60 milhões pelo negócio. O Corinthians fica com apenas 60% do valor, já que 40% dos direitos econômicos de Pato pertencem ao próprio atacante. Ou seja, a transação pode render R$ 36 milhões ao clube paulista, que investiu cerca de R$ 40 milhões em 2013.
Translating the article reveals some interesting information. Pato and his agents, Giuliano Bertolucci, and Kia Joorabchian, are reportedly already in London looking to finish the deal. Corinthians currently own 60% of Pato's rights while the striker owns the other 40%. All it means is that the transfer fee would be split between the club and Pato if a deal were to get done.
Corinthians have made it no secret that they have wanted to cash in on Pato, and with the former A.C. Milan striker enjoying a revival of his career by netting 26 goals in 58 matches, someone in Europe was inevitably going to come knocking.
Tottenham Hotspur was very close to signing Pato at the end of the Summer. There was no official word as to what happened, but Pato posted up an Instagram stating he wanted to finish out his season with São Paulo. With his loan stint coming to an end yesterday, he has played well enough and shown that he can remain healthy. Reports on a transfer fee will depend on what outlet you believe, but Yahoo's article states that the clubs want about £10.5m, which is slightly higher than the reported £8m back in the Summer.
To sum it up, this definitely seems a thing. Multiple outlets are running with the same story and Spurs need a backup striker. Clinton N'Jie has fit into the squad nicely, but there's nobody else to give Harry Kane a break when needed. Winter transfers don't happen terribly often at White Hart Lane, but this squad needs depth up front. Pato can provide that, but £10.5m might seem a bit much for someone who is being brought in strictly as a backup. What also makes this move a little strange is that Pato has been playing more as a winger for São Paulo and not as a striker.
On the possibility that this ends up being nothing or the deal falls through, there are other possibilities out there that Spurs have been linked with in the past such as Laurent Depoitre, Moussa Dembele, Charlie Austin, Breel Embolo, and Timo Werner. While those rumors are sure to pop up at some point in the future, it would appear that Spurs are all-in on Pato.