Brazilian striker Pato desires to play in EPL

Rio de Janeiro, Dec 14 (IANS) Brazilian international Alexandre Pato has expressed a desire to join an English Premier League (EPL) club in January as he seeks to rescale the heights that made him one of football’s most promising strikers.

The 26-year-old is said to have attracted interest from a slew of European clubs after ending a successful two-year loan spell at Sao Paulo earlier this month. He remains contracted to Corinthians until the end of 2016 but the Brazilian outfit has made it clear he is not part of its plans, reports Xinhua.

The former AC Milan star has also been linked to Barcelona and there have been reports of a possible return to Italy. However Pato says England is his preferred destination.

“Before I came to Italy to play for Milan in 2007, I saw in the papers that my name was mentioned in connection with some English clubs,” Pato said on Sunday.

“I was told Chelsea were interested but my dream was to play with (the Brazilian) Ronaldo. When Milan called my manager I wanted to go there so that I could play with Ronaldo and (Paolo) Maldini.

“But one day I knew I would like to come to England because I think the Premier League is the number one in the world. It is very competitive. I like the emotion in the English league. You look at the TV and you see the stadium and the fans.”

Among EPL clubs reportedly interested in signing the forward are Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

He added: “My dream is to come back to Europe. I think it has to be to a club that plays to be champions, one that challenges and has ambition.”

Pato joined AC Milan as an 18-year-old in 2007 and was an immediate success with 57 goals in his first 125 matches.

But a spate of injuries combined with inconsistent form saw his stock plummet and he was sold to Corinthians in January 2013 for 15 million euros.

He continued to be plagued by injuries in 2013 and 2014 before enjoying an uninterrupted 2015 with 26 goals across all competitions.

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