Former QPR manager Harry Redknapp has revealed that he turned down the chance to take imminent Chelsea signing Alexandre Pato to Loftus Road 12 months ago and questioned the Blues’ decision to move for him.
The former Brazilian prodigy is on the verge of joining the defending Premier League champions on loan for the remainder of the season after months of speculation surrounding his future.
Pato initially burst on the global football scene in his teenage years and secured a move to AC Milan, where he was expected to develop into a superstar.
However, a series of injuries halted his development, and the 26-year-old has spent the last three years back in his homeland with Corinthians and Sao Paulo.
The former, his parent club – he’s been on loan with the latter for two seasons – have made little secret of their desire to sell the player over the past few months, and Redknapp, writing in his column for the London Evening Standard, openly questioned Chelsea’s decision to move for Pato, even claiming that he turned him down at QPR – who were eventually relegated – last season:
“If I was a Chelsea fan, I wouldn’t be getting too excited about signing Alexandre Pato.
“They have already got Willian, Oscar and Eden Hazard — where is Pato going to play? They have about four or five players just like him so I don’t see where he fits into Chelsea’s team.
“I was offered Pato at QPR this time last year but we turned him down because he wasn’t what we needed at the time. He played against my Tottenham team when we faced AC Milan in the Champions League but seems to have faded away and ended up back in Brazil. He’s a little bit like Bojan at Stoke.
“He started off with a huge reputation as a kid but never really fulfilled his potential. Bojan did really well at Stoke but now he looks like he’s lost his form.
“Signing him looks like Chelsea just getting another body in, really. He’s got the ability to play anywhere but he’s not in the same class as Hazard. Okay, if they get injuries, then it is different but who drops out to accommodate him if everyone is available?”