Sources close to Alexandre Pato have played down claims that the Brazilian ace could be heading for England in January, HITC Sport understands.
A host of clubs including Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool have reportedly showed an interest in landing the former AC Milan front-man – who is currently playing for Corinthians in his homeland.
However, it appears any potential deal for Pato would fall down at the first hurdle as he is highly unlikely to get a work permit to play in England.
26-year-old Pato is not understood to have gained EU citizenship during his near five-year stay with Milan, and his current situation would see him fall well short of Home Office criteria.
Pato has played 27 times for his country but he last played for them over two years ago, and given the fact he is no longer seen as one of Brazil’s top performers, even on appeal it would be a real battle to gain entry - although not impossible.
But a source told HITC Sport: “He is on so much money that he would have to take a drop in wages to come to England. He doesn’t like the physical side of the game and to be honest we can’t understand where these stories are coming from. Clearly it seems Corinthians would like to get wages off their bill, so that could be it.”
HITC Sport has also been told by sources from a number of Premier League clubs, that they have not been able to establish that he is not third party owned, and with that hanging over his head and the work permit issue, most English clubs are highly unlikely to spend much, if any time, pursuing a deal – especially in January.