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Palmeiras closing in as Chelsea explore Andrey Santos loan option — reports

No work permit, no room

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Chelsea Unveil New Signing Andrey Santos... Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

After captaining Brazil to the CONMEBOL U20 Championship, and even leading the tournament in goals scored, young Andrey Santos declared that he was now fully focusing on his Chelsea career, which was supposed to involve him getting integrated into our first-team straight away. Unfortunately, he might have to wait a bit longer before he (and we) can in fact do that.

The highly promising 18-year-old midfielder doesn’t automatically qualify for a UK work permit. Chelsea were set to apply for a “special talent” exemption, but that appeal has been either rejected (as per the Daily Mail) or not even applied for in the end (as per The Athletic). Regardless of the exact reason, there’s been a possible change of plans, with Graham Potter admitting in yesterday’s press conference that “we’re looking at what the options are for him”.

The likeliest option, as rumored before, is a loan back to Brazil, ideally to a top flight team also involved in the Copa Libertadores, to ensure that he can collect as many points as possible towards a future work permit. Palmeiras were one of the teams linked already, and the defending Série A champions would certainly fit that bill.

A deal may already be in the works in fact, and mostly agreed, even, as reported by Fabrizio Romano. The Brazilian season runs spring-to-fall and is about to start (well, the Copa anyway, and the state championships), but we would have the option to break it at the midway point.

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