Incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte will reportedly keep Alexandre Pato at the club in his first season in charge next year.
The Brazilian is currently on loan from Corinthians until the end of the season, at which point the Blues will have to make a decision on whether or not they would want to extend his stay in west London.
According to The Daily Star, that decision has already been made by Conte, who wants the 25-year-old at his disposal after he arrives following the conclusion of Euro 2016 this summer.
Pato made his first appearance for the club in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa almost two weeks ago as he scored from the penalty spot, while he started in the 1-0 defeat to Swansea City last Saturday.
It is difficult to assess whether or not the former AC Milan star has done enough to earn a permanent move to Stamford Bridge at this stage, and so he will be desperate to prove his worth in the coming weeks.
Nevertheless, it seems like a strange move from Conte for the most part as he is likely to be backed financially in the summer, with Chelsea hopeful that he can ensure that they remain competitive domestically while also securing a return to the Champions League.
After an injury plagued spell in Milan, Pato struggled initially on his return to Brazil, but undoubtedly rediscovered his fitness and form last year which in turn earned him the move to England.
There is an argument to suggest that he could flourish under Conte who has been praised throughout his coaching career thus far for his man-management skills.
In turn, Pato could yet play a pivotal role in the club’s success moving forward with the Italian tactician at the helm, but it is expected that competition for places will increase this summer.