Speculation continues to surround AC Milan’s Pato, with rumours continually linking the Brazilian ace with a future move to the Premiership; according to Mediaset, even as early as this summer.
And when the 21-year-old does leave the San Siro, Chelsea and Manchester City will be first in line to secure his services.
Of course, Pato is one of the most gifted footballers around; he already has a World Cup medal to his name, and has scored 44 goals in 87 games for Milan. He has yet to win a trophy with the Serie A side, although that may well change this year, with Milan currently sitting 4 points clear at the top of the league.
Yet despite enjoying much success in only a short time at the club, Pato has always been perceived as being somewhat unsettled at Milan, and rumours of a recent bust-up with club legend Gennaro Gattuso may have convinced the forward that his future lies elsewhere.
Yet as Milan would demand a fee of at least £30m for Pato, only two clubs are in a position to bid for him: Chelsea and City, and both managers would be confident of winning the race for his signature.
Roberto Mancini would almost certainly use Mario Balotelli as part of any deal, after the outspoken City forward claimed that he will also be moving on in the near future, and that it would be back to Milan, who have already made clear their desire to sign him.
However, Chelsea are long-term admirers of Pato, and as the man who brought Pato to Milan, Carlo Ancelotti would be confident of persuading him to move to Stamford Bridge instead of Eastlands.