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Sao Paulo fans criticize trade for Alexandre Pato even before striker's debut

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SAO PAULO - Sao Paulo fans are protesting the team's decision to acquire striker Alexandre Pato in a trade with Brazilian rival Corinthians.

Fans watching the team's match in the Sao Paulo state championship on Thursday displayed banners criticizing club officials and the 24-year-old striker who struggled with Corinthians since a high-profile transfer from AC Milan in 2013.

One of the banners read, "We don't want Pato here."

Alexandre Pato, yet to arrive at his new club, was one of the players threatened by Corinthians fans who invaded the team's training centre last weekend. His agent told Brazilian media the striker didn't feel safe and wanted to leave.

Sao Paulo coach Muricy Ramalho criticized Sao Paulo fans, saying the player needs to "feel welcome."

Alexandre Pato was traded for former Brazil midfielder Jadson.

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