The Mane Land has learned that Alexandre Pato did not accept Orlando City’s offer by the club’s deadline and a deal for the former AC Milan star has gone cold. Pato is reportedly leaning toward accepting an offer from Argentinos Juniors in Argentina rather than joining Orlando. The Lions are interested in bringing in the former Brazil international forward if the club can stay within budget.
Sources indicated to The Mane Land on Tuesday that Pato was believed to be leaning toward signing the Orlando offer. TML also confirmed yesterday that the Brazilian held an official offer from the Lions. Reports out of Brazil indicate that Pato was happy with the terms from Argentinos Juniors, which allegedly include a short contract length. The linked story also hints that Pato would prefer to be close to home and has turned down offers from abroad in the past.
Pato has been without a team since August after parting ways with Sao Paulo in Brazil, where he made 20 appearances since 2019, scoring five goals. The 31-year-old has played previously for such clubs as A.C. Milan, Villarreal, and Chelsea, but injuries have limited his minutes at times throughout his playing days. He began his career with Internacional in Brazil, scoring six goals in 10 appearances in 2006-2007. He signed with Milan for 24 million Euros in August of 2007 and went on to score 51 goals in 117 appearances from 2007 to 2013, but he was limited by knocks from 2011-2013.
Brazilian side Corinthians signed him in 2013 and Pato played 30 matches for the club, scoring nine goals between 2013 and 2016. He spent 59 matches on loan with Sao Paulo from 2014 to 2015, scoring 19 times. He also went on loan to Chelsea for two games in 2016, notching one goal.
Pato signed with Villarreal in July of 2016 and started the 2016-2017 season with the La Liga side, scoring just twice in 14 appearances, before transferring to Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian in January of 2017. While in China, Pato was exceedingly productive, scoring 30 goals in 47 appearances from 2017 to 2019. He then returned to Sao Paulo in March of 2019, missing about a third of his first season there.
The Pato Branco, Brazil native has represented his country at the U-20, U-23, and senior levels, scoring 10 goals in 27 first-team appearances.
What it Means for Orlando City
This was a move Orlando apparently wanted to make if it could do so on budget and it would make a lot of sense if done in that manner. That would be in line with the club’s low-risk, high-potential approach to player personnel. Orlando isn’t in dire need of a forward with Daryl Dike, Matheus Aias, Tesho Akindele, and Derek Dodson in hand (although Dodson will need to be signed). It’s a mostly young group of strikers but there is a lot of upside.
While we’ve been informed the deal isn’t completely dead, if Pato is posturing for a better offer, a signing is unlikely. Orlando City isn’t interested in a bidding war for Pato and by setting a deadline to accept, the club can move forward and explore other options. If a deal happens, it will be on the Lions’ terms.