The chief executive officer of Telecom Italia (TI), Marco Patuano, said yesterday that the group is not counting out any options where it concerns its Brazilian telecoms unit TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil), including its disposal, as TI explores ways of paying down debt and improving its competitive position. In a clearest hint yet that the sell off TIM Brasil could simply be a matter of time in coming, Mr Patuano has refused to discount the disposal of the unit, which accounts for roughly 25% of the Italian group’s revenue, despite earlier statements dismissing such a notion. Whilst declaring his support of Brazil and the local business there, the CEO also said that TI would not turn its back of the possibility of receiving a ‘big cheque’ for the business. The Wall Street Journal cites him as saying that TI is committed to securing a sensible return from TIM Brasil, and anticipates that the market there will continue to be a growth driver for TI for years to come. However, he also hinted that such a return could come in the shape of the profit realised from its sale. Mr Patuano’s latest statement is in direct conflict to comments he made earlier this month following the disposal of its smaller Argentine operation. At the time, the CEO ruled out the sale of TIM Brasil: ‘There’s of course a price for anything, but right now Brazil is core,’ he said.