Former Brazil striker Alexandre Pato linked with a sensational return to English football
His career has been blighted by injury
Former Chelsea and AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato has been linked with a sensational return to English football with Championship outfit Birmingham City.
The 31-year-old is currently a free agent after his Sao Paulo contract was terminated by mutual consent back in August.
Reports emerging in Italy now suggest that Birmingham, managed by former Real Madrid star Aitor Karanka, could be set to offer the Brazilian a route back into English football.
Karanka is keen to add new faces to his squad, even after the closure of the transfer window. Birmingham have already added former Athletic Bilbao midfielder Mikel San Jose to their squad.
Italian newspaper Calciomercato report that the Blues face stiff competition to land Pato, with Serie A sides Genoa and Spezia also vying for his signature.
Birmingham are in dire need of some firepower up top. Relying mostly on target man Lukas Jutkiewicz, they currently sit in 17th place in the Sky Bet Championship. They've scored just three goals in seven games so far this season.
Pato burst onto the scene at Internacional in his native Brazil. There, he bagged six goals in 10 games, before signing for AC Milan, then under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti.
In the six years he spent with Milan, Pato's time was marred by injury, but he still managed to score 51 times in 117 games. That tally includes this sensational strike scored after just 24 seconds against Barcelona in the Champions League.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 4, 2018
Pato joined Corinthians in 2013, but struggled with injuries and a lack of form in front of goal. He went on loan to Sao Paulo, and then to Chelsea in January 2016.
Although he scored on his debut, the Brazilian only made two appearances in total at Stamford Bridge.
A disappointing spell with Villarreal was followed by a prolific two years in China with Tianjin Quinjan. There, Pato netted 30 times in 47 games.
He returned to Sao Paulo for the 2019-20 season but left the club at the end of the campaign - scoring five times in 20 games.