After months of negotiations between Chelsea and Grêmio, the Brazilian club has finally announced that right-back Wallace, who was previously at Italian club Carpi, is joining the club on a loan deal this year.
O lateral Wallace é o novo reforço tricolor! https://t.co/K7umOEeulk pic.twitter.com/1o1kFL8Sl4— Grêmio FBPA (@Gremio) 7 janeiro 2016
Wallace will be at the club until June 30, 2017, which makes this an 18-month loan. Presumably, he will return at that time, though it's more likely that we will agree to sell him either to Grêmio or some other team.
At Carpi, Wallace didn't get too many first-team chances, but at Grêmio he should have a clearer path since their starting right-back from last season, Galhardo went back to his parent club Santos. Wallace should also enjoy more freedom to wander into attacking areas since he will be facing the traditionally much easier defences of the Brasileirão.
It is also believed that Chelsea and Grêmio have signed a partnership deal; of which there's been no official confirmation from either party. While Grêmio haven't produced too many quality youngsters in the last few years, they were the first club of players such as Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Liverpool's Lucas Leiva and former Manchester United midfielder Anderson. (Incidentally, Grêmio's major rival, Internacional have had a partnership with Tottenham since 2009. Is our rivalry with Spurs set to extend overseas now, too?)
Regardless, all the best of luck to Wallace! Grêmio finished third last season and they will no doubt look to build on that, though first, they have to contest the state championship (where they finished 2nd) as well as the Copa Libertadores.