According to Brazilian newspaper Lance!, Chelsea are not going to let Nathan go for cheap just because he’s never played for the club and has found a good home for himself at Atlético Mineiro. Nathan’s loan at Atlético-MG is set to expire next month, at the end of the Brazilian season, but his Chelsea contract only ends next summer, at the end of the European season.
While both Nathan and Atlético-MG wish to turn his ongoing loan stint into a permanent transfer, Chelsea will want to recover the money spent to acquire the midfielder from Athletico Paranaense back in 2015. At that time, Nathan was a promising player in Athletico’s youth ranks, and was brought to Stamford Bridge alongside fellow Brazilian attacking midfielder Kenedy, in a deal worth £4.5 million.
Unlike Kenedy, Nathan headed straight to the loan brigade, which is where he has spent his entire Chelsea career. Relative success in a two-season spell at Vitesse in the Netherlands was followed by moves to Amiens in France, and Belenenses in Portugal, but those did not pan out as expected. He then moved back to Brazil in July 2018, joining Atlético-MG on a loan deal that only began yielding good results at the beginning of this calendar year.
Nathan and his representatives have been hopeful that they could broker a deal where the player would be allowed to leave Chelsea without compensation. However, this is not what the Blues have in mind, even if Atlético might not have the means to fulfil any great financial demands.
What could potentially happen here then is a deal similar to when Deco and Juliano Belletti moved to Fluminense, when Chelsea got in return the rights to a few promising players from the club’s highly regarded youth academy (namely Ronan, Wallace, and Pernao). While this type of deal is technically no longer allowed, it is still possible for the Blues to get priority on transfers for good players from within Atlético’s setup, which could bode well for us in the future.