Former AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato has admitted he could return to the San Siro this summer, but in the colours of fierce rivals Inter Milan.
In an interview with SkySport24, the Brazilian international heaped praise on Roberto Mancini’s men and refused to rule out a return to the ground he once called home.
Inter are keen to recruit a striker in the summer amid growing reports of star striker Mauro Icardi leaving for a new challenge in the Premier League, and could move for Pato who has rediscovered his best form back in his homeland with San Paulo.
Pato said: "Inter? They're a great team. In football, one never knows."
When Pato first joined Milan on the back of a successful scoring spree at Internacional he was expected to take Serie A by storm, but injuries spoiled his time at the San Siro and he was consequently shipped to Brazil where he has remained ever since.
The 25-year-old scored 18 goals back in the 2008/2009 season – his highest seasonal goal tally to date – but battles for fitness and the form of Filippo Inzaghi and Klaas Jan Huntelaar soon saw the club hierarchy lose faith in their promising protégé.
He managed just six goals in his final two seasons at the club, making just 25 appearances in the process, but has now rediscovered his goalscoring touch and could be set for a return to Europe in the foreseeable future.
After initially struggling to find his feet back in Brazil, Pato struck 17 times in 57 appearances for Corinthians to earn himself a mega-loan deal with Sao Paulo.
And ever since he has impressed, netting 12 times in 39 appearances to prompt talk of a move away back to some of the biggest leagues in the world.
Brazilian coach Dunga has already provided international recalls to the likes of Robinho and Fred, and Pato could be next if he manages to steer clear of any injuries or setbacks over the course of the season.
Queens Park Rangers were interested in signing Pato on loan back in January, but baulked at his wage demands with Harry Redknapp reluctant to take a gamble on a forward so riddled with fitness issues.
Yet now Inter are interested and could swoop if Icardi departs. The Italian has been a revelation, scoring 19 goals in all competitions in a difficult campaign for the Nerazzuri, but such fine form have prompted the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea to register an interest.
Pato has shown in the past that if he stays fit he can provide the goals the supporters crave, and his eagerness to prove Milan wrong could be the perfect driving force to ensure he return to the goalscoring form of old.
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