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The Toe Poke

Pato targets title

Alexandre Pato says he is delighted to be staying at AC Milan and believes the team will be the equals of Inter this season.

Pato has repeatedly been linked with a move away from the San Siro amid reports Milan would be looking to cash in, and Chelsea and Real Madrid have both been credited with an interest.

However, Milan have repeatedly said that Brazilian trio Pato, Ronaldinho and Thiago Silva are not on the market this summer and Pato is excited for the season ahead.

"I am very happy to stay at Milan and especially happy that Ronaldinho is also here," he told Corriere dello Sport. "In my view, he never seriously thought about leaving."

He added: "Last season, Milan were inferior to Inter and we lost both derby games, but it's a different story now and we don't feel inferior to anyone. Not even Inter. We have the same chances of winning the Scudetto."

Pato suffered a number of injury problems last season and an ankle injury in the Emirates Cup last weekend raised fears of a recurrence, but he says he is ready for the new campaign.

"I'm better now, as the worries have passed," he said. "Despite the small sprain, I never stopped training and working to fully recover. When I felt pain, I was afraid that I'd damaged the ankle again, but it was nothing serious."


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