Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham appear to be handed a considerable boost in the race to sign Alexandre Pato, with a Corinthians director seemingly admitting that the club could negotiate a transfer.
Brazilian international Pato, who made quite a name for himself on the European stage in Serie A with AC Milan, returned to his homeland to join Corinthians back in January after six years at the San Siro.
However, despite having only been back in his native Brazil for a short while, transfer speculation has persistently linked Pato with a move away from Estádio do Pacaembu in recent months.
Arsenal and Tottenham, two teams who have experienced somewhat contrasting fortunes so far this season, have both been linked with potential move for Pato - with the former even apparently having a bid of approximately £6.5 million rejected recently.
Yet it appears as if there remains a great deal of hope for both Arsene Wenger and Andre-Villas Boas in their respective pursuits of Pato, with Roberto de Andrade admitting that his club could negotiate.
"When we bought Pato, it was because it was an opportunity, he is a great player," he was quoted by the Daily Star.
"He is a kid - still very young - we don't regret it. He will make the fans very happy.
"We can negotiate about him, like any player. But in order to have a negotiation, there must be clubs interested in signing him and Pato so far has not asked to leave," he added.
Whether either Arsenal or Tottenham intend to actively pursue further negotiations over Pato, is not yet clear.
However, with the latter having struggled badly in front of goal at times this season, the increasingly disgruntled crowd at White Hart Lane - who have been buoyed somewhat recently with wins against Sunderland and Anzhi Makhachkala - would presumably not be opposed to the arrival of a player of Pato's quality.
Arsenal, meanwhile, could potentially exploit the Brazilian's impressive versatility. With the club's fans clearly hoping that Wenger is able bring in adequate competition for Frenchman Olivier Giroud, Pato's ability to play anywhere across the frontline could be a valuable asset.
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