Chelsea have confirmed that midfielder Andrey Santos has returned to Vasco da Gama on loan.
Santos joined from the Brazilian side, who were promoted to the country’s top flight last season, in a deal worth around £18m in January but, due to post-Brexit rules, failed to obtain a work permit to play in England.
The plan was to send Santos on loan to Palmeiras to help his chances of securing a clearance, but negotiations broke down over Chelsea’s determination to retain the option to recall Santos in the summer, in the middle of the Brazilian season.
An agreement has now been reached with Santos’ former team Vasco, who have confirmed that the 18-year-old has signed a contract to return to the club until the end of June.
It is now the pinnacle of the competition and it is hoped that Vasco will be able to provide Santos with the experience needed to obtain a work permit before the start of the 2023/24 Premier League season.
Chelsea are also keen to ensure Santos features at the Under-20 World Cup in May. Chelsea shone at the South American Championship with Brazil in January and believe an impressive summer tournament would also boost Santos’ chances of securing a work permit.
A number of Brazil’s top teams wanted to sign Santos after his impressive performances at the South American Championship, where he surprisingly finished top scorer with six goals in eight games.
Returning to Vasco, Santos will continue to link up with team-mates such as former Shakhtar forward Alex Teixeira and 41-year-old Nene, formerly of PSG and West Ham.