Sky Sports have reported that Alexandre Pato will join Spanish side Villarreal from Corinthians.
The 26-year-old broke onto the scene at the age of 18 at AC Milan, but a series of injuries seemed to stop him reaching his vast potential – causing him to move back to Brazil to try and rediscover his form.
A loan move to Chelsea in January 2016 did not go to plan, and Pato made just two appearances – though he did score on his debut against Aston Villa.
Lacking fitness, the forward struggled to make Chelsea’s squads initially. He had to compete with Diego Costa, Loic Remy, Radamel Falcao and Bertrand Traore for a starting berth, but he failed to impress under interim manager Guus Hiddink and left at the end of his loan along with Falcao.
A move to La Liga could be a crossroads in Pato’s career as he his young enough to still improve further, though his performances for the west London club were a far cry from his teenage years where his lightning pace and composed finishing made him one of the most wanted youngsters in Europe.
The terms remain undisclosed, but reports in Spain suggest that the fee involved was €3m for the acquisition of 60% of the player’s rights.
The Yellow Submarine have money to spend after finishing fourth in the league last season – which secured a Champions League play-off place – and selling key defender Eric Bailly to Manchester United for around £30m.
Manager Marcelino has also signed Denis Cheryshev on a permanent transfer from Real Madrid after he struggled to break into the club’s first team.