Corinthians coach Tite wants Alexandre Pato to remain at club
Corinthians manager Tite is hoping to count on the services of Alexandre Pato in 2016, despite offers from Europe for the in-form 26-year-old forward.
Pato, who was loaned by Corinthians to ribals Sao Paulo in February of 2014, has delivered on the promise that saw AC Milan buy him from Internacional as a 17-year-old in 2007, and appears set to make a move back to Europe.
With his loan ending at the end of December, however, he must first return to Corinthians, where the manager believes he can be of service to their Copa Libertadores and Brasileirao campaigns next season.
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"Pato is a solution, not a problem," Tite told a Brazilian radio station on Wednesday. "After a while, more adapted, he left with high expectations, matured."
Pato experienced a disastrous first pass at Corinthians. After being bought from Milan for €15 million in January of 2013, the former Brazil international struggled to adapt within the team and was routinely booed by Corinthians' notoriously-demanding supporters for a perceived lack of commitment on the pitch.
With Pato mow back to his best, Tite doesn't see reintegration into his defending Brazilian champions as an issue.
"It's not because we won [the Brazilian title] that the group is a thousand wonders, everyone is friends with everyone. There are differences among the group, in the technical staff. But I will respect the decision in there.
The former Club World Cup, Copa Libertadores and two-time Brasileirao winner even has a position in mind should Pato stay.
"Where he was most productive with me was on the left in a 4-1-4-1," Tite, who managed Pato in his first season at Corinthians, said. "He produced a lot also behind [Paulo] Guerrero with two lines of four players."
Pato's contract with Corinthians runs until the end of 2016. If he doesn't move to Europe, he will be expected at Corinthians' preseason training camp on Jan. 6.
"If i was manager, I would keep Pato and renew his contract for two years, in a medium and longterm investment. If I want to sell now, I will see the value."