“I had said to the coach I would come off the bench and close the game,”
Massimiliano Allegri sent on Alexndre Pato not long after this apparent statement and the Brazilian fulfilled his prophecy; scoring the final goal in a 3-1 win over Anderlecht.
It is growing increasingly clear however that Pato is becoming frustrated at his place on the substitute bench at the San Siro. The form of young Italian Stephan El Shaarawy has left the 23-year-old Brazilian international twiddling his thumbs on the side-lines dreaming of another world.
There is little wonder why based purely on talent; ever since bursting onto the scene with electrifying performances at Internacional as a youngster he has been tipped for stardom.
AC Milan invested a sensational €24 million in 2007 for the transfer of this talented youngster and after scoring on his debut against Napoli the future was supposed to be nothing but bright.
He has gone on to score important goals in big matches. Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Barcelona can all vouch for his obvious talents. A lot has changed in a year however; when you consider he became one of very few AC Milan players to reject the overtures of gay Paris last January, stating his commitment to the Rossoneri, it seemed he was in Milan to stay.
Yet he is hungry for football which leaves you begging the question of where next?
Paris are out the running with Ancelotti saying he is no longer needed and a swap deal with Manchester City for Mario Balotelli has been quashed as Silvio Berlusconi does ‘not like exchanges’. Berlusconi claims that Pato is not for sale at any cost as he has the potential to ‘become an icon’ but if Pato becomes intent on a move Milan would be remiss to reject a bid in the right financial region for a player plagued with injury problems; not to mention his contract only having 18 months left to run at the San Siro.
Off the pitch his image has not helped matters either. Split from his first wife after constant partying and a relationship with Barbara Berlusconi, yes the daughter of Milan owner Silvio, he has courted much controversy for one so young.
Despite all the obvious red-tape and risk factors involved on a Pato shaped roll of the dice surely Chelsea would be the perfect destination for him. With plenty of Brazilian compatriots to help the bedding in period and a desperate shortage of frontmen at Stamford Bridge the more you consider such a deal the more likely it becomes.
If any owner in the EPL has money to gamble with it is Roman Abramovich and statements like the following from Pato’s agent make it clear he may just be available:
“Could he leave Milan? I don’t know, we’ll talk after Tuesday.”