Chelsea close to signing Alexandre Pato from Corinthians - sources

Alexandre Pato is close to joining Chelsea from Corinthians, multiple sources have told ESPN.

Former AC Milan forward Pato, 26, has confirmed he is interested in moving to the Premier League this winter and ESPN FC has been told that Chelsea are in advanced talks with the forward's agent.

Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink is keen to bring in a new striker during this month's transfer window as the Premier League champions have struggled for goals this season and Pato has emerged as the club's top target.

Sources told ESPN Brasil that Pato has verbally agreed a deal and he is set to sign a contract worth €2.3 million (£1.77m) a year with the West London club.

Earlier this month, Pato rejected a lucrative offer from Chinese second-division club Tianjin Quanjian that was worth €9m (£6.9m) a year.

Liverpool were also linked but boss Jurgen Klopp recently told a news conference he was not interested in the player.

Pato, who has made 27 appearances for the Brazilian national team, joined Corinthians from Milan in 2013 but spent the last two years on loan at Sao Paulo before returning to his parent club last month.

He scored 26 goals in 61 appearances for Sao Paulo in 2015.

Peter O'Rourke contributed to this report.