Alexandre Pato claims he listened to an offer from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, before deciding to remain in his homeland.
The Brazilian international was regarded as one of the best young talents in Europe when he first burst onto the scene for Milan, for whom he scored 51 goals in 117 Serie A matches between 2007 and January of this year. However, he suffered a string of injuries towards the end of his time in Italy, and returned home during the winter.
Pato was linked with a host of clubs before signing for Corinthians in a £12million deal, and the move appears to have given him a new lease of life. He has recently been recalled to Luiz Felipe Scolari’s squad for the friendlies against Portugal and Australia, giving him a genuine hope of featuring when his country hosts the World Cup next year.
The 24-year-old has now claimed that Tottenham were keen to sign him ahead of the current season, but despite listening to what was on offer, he told SporTV he decided to remain at his current club: “Tottenham had called Corinthians to ask for my transfer. I sat at the table with the club and my agent and I decided I wanted to stay.”
Andre Villas-Boas had better success when persuading Corinthians to sell Paulinho, the midfielder, who arrived at White Hart Lane in an £18million deal. He joined compatriots Sandro, formerly of Internacional, and ex-Cruzeiro goalkeeper Heurelho Gomez as part of the ever-improving squad which is being developed at Spurs.