Chelsea close in on Alex the Duck
Mourinho is looking for backup to goal-machine Didier Drogba
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Published by Orion Books, out June 21st, 321 pages, £20.
Sunday, 24, Jun 2007 04:20
Chelsea are close to signing Brazilian prodigy Alexandre Pato for £18 million, according to the player's agent.
The Blues could beat off a host of clubs to land the 17-year-old striker in the next few days.
Pato's agent, Gilmat Veloz, claims a move is imminent to bring the teenager to Stamford Bridge.
"A deal is almost done," Gilmat Veloz told the News of the World.
Reports claim manager Jose Mourinho has agreed to let Pato stay with Internacional until the end of the Brazilian season in December.
AC Milan, Arsenal, Benfica, Juventus and Liverpool have been among the clubs chasing Pato.
Chelsea were expected to watch Pato in the upcoming Under-20 World Cup in Canada before making a decision.
But the Blues have acted quickly by making an offer to Internacional before other clubs hijack their deal.
Pato, nicknamed Alex the Duck, helped Brazil win the South American Under-20 Championship this year and was their top-scorer with five goals.
On his debut for Internacional in November 2006, Pato scored and had three assists in the 4-1 win over Palmeiras.
In comparison to the last three years, Chelsea have been quiet in the transfer market this summer. The FA Cup winners have landed Tal Ben Haim, Claudio Pizarro, and Steve Sidwell all on free transfers.