Premier League • England

Chelsea to finalise midfielder’s exit next week as Fabrizio Romano details interference from MLS club

Graham Potter of Chelsea

Chelsea are ready to sanction the loan exit of January signing Andrey Santos within a week after a number of twists regarding his immediate future, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Santos signed for Chelsea as one for the future during the winter transfer window, joining from Vasco da Gama. However, the midfielder has not been able to acquire a visa that would allow him to play in England.

Therefore, he needs to build up experience elsewhere to avoid his career stagnating. With that in mind, there has been recent speculation about a loan move back to a Brazilian side.

Initially, Palmeiras were leading the race for his signature. However, that move has now fallen through, forcing Santos to search for other options.

Perhaps the most simple – and one that is increasingly possible – would be for him to return to Vasco da Gama. And according to Romano, there has been progress on that front.

The reporter tweeted on Saturday morning that Chelsea have “decided to give the green light” to a loan return for Santos to the club from where he has just arrived.

All being well, Vasco da Gama can “close the deal within [the] next week”. However, there could yet be another twist for the teenager.

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According to Romano, Santos has also become of interest to other clubs, including one in the MLS.

His tweet names LAFC as contenders for Santos’ signature, though reports on Friday from Goal claimed the interested party was their cross-city rivals, LA Galaxy. It is unclear whether Romano has got mixed up while aggregating the news or both Los Angeles teams are in contention.

Of course, LAFC were recently trying to make another signing from Chelsea. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on their radar after being omitted from Graham Potter’s squad list for the Champions League.

However, it wasn’t the right time for Aubameyang to make such a move. Santos might not have the same luxury of choice.

Vasco da Gama return might make most sense for Chelsea misfit

Either way, it still seems like Vasco da Gama might be in the lead for Santos. In all honesty, it might be the move that makes the most sense for the 18-year-old.

After all, he was already establishing himself in their first team, so he might be able to pick his momentum immediately back up by returning. Santos left Vasco da Gama with 38 senior appearances and eight goals behind him.

Heading back there, he could regain a regular role in the side. It could boost his chances of increasing his prominence, which may be beneficial in the long run.

That said, the chance to play in the USA might also be appealing. It would allow Santos to learn different aspects of his game as he prepares for the big new challenge that should eventually come his way in England.

Under contract with Chelsea until 2030, there is plenty of time for Santos to make his mark at Stamford Bridge if he is allowed the opportunity. But for now, he needs to quickly settle on a different club.

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