The eventual return of football after the COVID-19 pandemic has been the subject of many delicate discussions already, and it’s been no different in Brazil, where the start of the national league, which usually begins in May, is under threat. (The pandemic already cut short the state championships, which take place in the first half of the calendar year.)
As in Europe, this is greatly affecting the football clubs themselves, especially in economic terms. For Brazilian teams, it’s also complicated by the misalignment between the European and Brazilian football calendar, which affects intercontinental transfers and the situation of players like Nathan, who’s currently on loan from Chelsea at Atlético Mineiro until June.
Atlético might not have the funds to secure a transfer, but they remain keen on not losing him. Club president Sérgio Sette Câmara has confirmed that they are in talks with Chelsea to extend the loan contract for another six months, and are hoping that the special situation created by the pandemic will help them — especially as FIFA are allowing current contracts to extend beyond June 30 if needed.
“We will try to extend his contract until the end of the year. We are talking with Chelsea about that.”
“There might be a ruling that extends contract for a determinate period that [equals] the stoppage in football. That could happen, but then there would have to be a FIFA ruling in this manner.
“But I think that at the end of the day, only if Chelsea had a proposal to sell Nathan [would they reject our offer]. Otherwise, especially to avoid paying [Nathan’s] salary, they would renew [the loan] with us until the end of the year.”
-Sérgio Sette Câmara; source: Globo Esporte
So, Sette Câmara’s hoping that Chelsea would be willing to give his team yet another handout with Nathan. Before the pandemic, other teams had been interested in the 24-year-old as well, but that may no longer be the case.
Nathan’s saga has already been drawn out to the point of exhaustion, but as long as he remains on Chelsea’s books, it won’t be over. The sooner we change that, the better it will be for all involved.