According to reports in Brazil, fans of Corinthians planned to break Alexandre Pato’s legs last weekend. The Brazilian international has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent months and after these latest developments he may need to leave the club.
Football outlet Lancenet has reported on claims in the Sao Paulo press that supporters broke into the Corinthians training ground with the intention to break the legs of Pato and his teammate Emerson. Pato and Emerson have become the scapegoats for the club’s poor season mainly due to them being the highest earners in the team. They've had to deal with abuse all season from the Corinthians faithful and last weekend’s scenes were no exception.
It has been reported that once the fans managed to get into the complex they caused carnage by smashing the player’s cars and vandalising buildings. It has been claimed a cleaning lady was injured in the scuffles but they never managed to confront their main target Pato. Even though Pato avoided any confrontation the club released a statement to say that his teammate Paolo Guerrero was assaulted.
This isn’t the first time Pato has been confronted this season by his own fans after there was an altercation back in October. Pato at the time was coming in for a lot of criticism due to missing a penalty in an important cup tie which saw his team eliminated. The coach taking the players to their hotel before their next game against Santos had to be escorted by the police but as soon as the forward came down the steps he was abused by his own fans. Pato tried to calm down the crowd but they carried on with their protest.
It emerged it December that Arsenal were trying to take advantage of Pato’s situation in Brazil by offering his club a cut price €8m to sign him. The Mirror reported that Arsenal had put in a bid for the player but this had been turned by Corinthians. With Arsenal still looking at striker options Pato may again be somebody Arsene Wenger could look to, and his after the recent happenings the player will want to get out of Corinthians as soon as possible.
It's not doing Corinthians' chances of getting a good price any favours.