Chelsea’s £18m signing Andrey Santos is DENIED a Premier League work permit – missing out by a point because of other midfield buys – and now he could go back to Brazil on loan
- Chelsea signing Andrey Santos has been denied a Premier League work permit
- The midfielder misses out by just one point because of Chelsea’s other players
- The Brazilian could return to his home country on loan for the time being
Chelsea’s new £18m signing Andrey Santos has been denied a Premier League work permit, and will not be allowed to play for the club at the present time.
Santos missed out by just one point, because of the other midfielders that the Blues have brought, including additions snapped up later in the January transfer window.
Santos, 18, was signed towards the start of 2023, as one of eight signings for the west London club this winter.
It is not clear what the Brazilian midfielder will do next, although he could return to his native country on loan, after a successful spell during the South American U-20 championship.
As previously reported, Santos was a key part of Brazil’s success at the regional tournament, scoring a header in the final earlier this week.
Chelsea’s Andrey Santos has been denied a Premier League work permit by one point
The midfielder helped Brazil to win the U-20 South American Championship title this week
The 18-year-old popped up with a vital header late on in their final win over Uruguay on Sunday
However, his involvement in the tournament, which finished on Sunday, was not taken into consideration – despite him captaining the side, and scoring six goals.
Chelsea reportedly applied for an exceptional talent visa to allow Santos to play in the Premier League, though by a narrow decision, it was not successful.
Calls to consider Santos as an indispensable player to Graham Potter’s side have not worked, with £107m deadline day British record signing Enzo Fernandez and loanee Denis Zakaria in the same position.
Speaking in Chelsea’s pre-match press conference ahead of their Premier League with Southampton on Saturday, Potter spoke about the Brazilian’s situation.
Potter said: ‘Santos is still in the same place. We’re looking at what the options are for him.’
Since he cannot join up with the Chelsea side for the time being, it looks likely that he will go to Brazil to play in the Copa Libertadores, with Palmeiras thought to be in pole position.
Playing in South America’s leading club competition would add at least three points to the application to let Santos play in the Premier League, according to the Evening Standard.
Chelsea manager Graham Potter said the club were exploring possible options for Santos
Santos made 34 appearances for Vasco de Gama, but is unlikely to return to his former club
Palmeiras are reportedly leading the hunt, offering the midfielder Copa Libertadores football
Before joining the Blues, Santos made 34 appearances for Vasco da Gama, scoring eight goals, but there was nothing in Chelsea’s signing of the 18-year-old which means he is likely to return to his former club.
Meanwhile, another of Chelsea’s January signings, Malo Gusto, has returned to the club for rehabilitation after picking up a serious hamstring injury on loan at Lyon.
Potter said: ‘Malo is here to help with his rehab, the club made that decision. But it’s nice to meet him and nice to see him in person around the building. But we’re just trying to help him get back fit.’
Chelsea currently sit tenth in the Premier League table, ahead of fixtures this month against Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur. They also tasted defeat in the first-leg of the Champions League last-16 against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
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