Buying low, selling high. Fishing for that one sparkling diamond in the sea of costume jewelry. Will Nathan be that diamond? Only time will tell, I suppose. For now, there's much rejoicing in the 19-year-old's camp. Nathan took to Instagram last week to announce that he has signed with Chelsea, and today, finally, Chelsea officially confirmed it as well.
But what took so long? Nathan had spent the past month flying to London, passing a medical, and then twiddling his thumbs in his hotel room for the next several weeks. He interrupted his boredom with bouts of shopping and a Chelsea match or two, but otherwise he was stuck in limbo, waiting to take that final step, trying to remember when he was a young man.
On the surface, the capture of Nathan's signature appears to be a case of seizing an opportunity. Embroiled in a contract dispute with his old club Atletico Paraneanse, Nathan was looking to get out any way possible. Thanks largely to the connections of Brazilian super agent Giuliano Bertolucci, Chelsea swooped in at the eleventh hour to smooth things over with the club and negotiate a cut-rate deal for the young star.
But as the weeks dragged on, rumors of a late bid from FC Porto surfaced. And then those rumors disappeared. Nathan "chose" Chelsea (again), or the rumors of the gazumping were nonsense. Or both. But there was still no official word from player or club. And then last week, according to Brazilian sources, Nathan was back on the left side of Atlantic. Gone home from London, with supposedly a five-year Chelsea contract in his hands; gone home to smooth out the final legal bits and bobs of his transfer.
I'm not even going to pretend to understand all the shenanigans that go on with Brazilian players and their third-party owners and contracts having to get sorted out in courts of arbitration. But there were, are, and perhaps will be plenty of such shenanigans with Nathan. Well, hopefully there won't be any more shenanigans. The courts are now supposedly satisfied. Atlético-PR are satisfied. Nathan and his entourage are satisfied. Chelsea are probably satisfied as well, as are one our European affiliates who are about to get a highly rated prospect on loan since Nathan is highly unlikely to be granted a work permit at this time. The final price is €5m, apparently, with €2m due now and €3m due after 20 games for the first team.