Alexandre Pato Reportedly Targeted for January Transfer by Arsenal

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 9: Alexandre Pato #19 of Brazil during the second half of an international friendly soccer match against Argentina on June 9, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Alexandre Pato could be at the centre of an Arsenal-Tottenham tug of war, according to reports in Brazil.

The 24-year-old forward—who joined Corinthians from AC Milan at the beginning of the year—turned down a move to Spurs in the summer, as revealed by the player himself in Gary Jones' report for the Daily Star:

I received offers, they called Corinthians, sent a fax, to sign me in the window, but I sat down with the staff, talked with my agent and I told them I wanted to stay.

After turning down the advances of Andre Villas-Boas, it appears Arsenal have emerged as candidates for the 24-year-old’s signature.

The Gunners are currently relying on Olivier Giroud to net in a lone striker’s role, and should he stutter with a loss of form or receive an injury, the Emirates faithful have little to fall back on.

As confirmed in Jones’ report, Pato would be allowed to represent Arsenal in this season’s Champions League if he were to arrive in January. The Brazil international has plenty of experience in the competition, having netted six goals across 22 appearances against Europe’s elite, per UEFA.

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Arsenal have also been linked with Karim Benzema, per James Dickenson of the Express, as Wenger looks to significantly strengthen a strike force that had to rely on Nicklas Bendtner during the Gunners’ 2-1 Capital One Cup loss to Chelsea.

Spurs also appear to have an alternate target lined up in the shape of Danny Ings.

The hotshot Burnley striker—who has netted nine goals in 13 appearances for the Championship side, per WhoScored—is rumoured to be catching the attention of AVB, as covered in a separate report by Jones.

Should either Premier League club plump for Pato, he would have plenty to prove on his North London arrival.

The talented forward is yet to live up to the potential many saw when he signed for the Rossoneri at 17 years old and faces a major battle to gain a place in Brazil's 2014 World Cup squad.