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Chelsea suffer Andrey Santos work permit blow as Brazil loan move eyed amid Palmeiras interest



(Photo by JUAN BARRETO/AFP via Getty Images)

Andrey Santos is increasingly likely to leave Chelsea on loan until the end of the season after his work permit application was denied again.

The 18-year-old joined Chelsea from Vasco da Gama last month in a deal worth up to £18 million, however Santos didn’t automatically qualify for a work permit and needed to qualify for ‘special status’ to obtain permission to play for Chelsea this season.

Santos was allowed to captain his country Brazil at the U20 South American Championships in Colombia between January and February in a bid to increase his chances of securing a work permit.

His performances led to him finishing as the joint-top goalscorer in the competition with six goals, and Santos scored the decisive goal against Uruguay in their final game to secure a 2-0 win and the title.

Chelsea would’ve thought Santos’ success would’ve helped them get his permit to allow him to be in contention to play for Graham Potter’s side this season, which was reportedly the plan, but it seems as though they have been unsuccessful in their attempts.

The club were ‘confident’ of getting his permit, but Potter issued an update on Friday afternoon confirming they were assessing all of their options.

“Santos is still in the same place,” confirmed Potter. “We are looking at what the options are for him.”

Now it’s been reported by Brazilian journalist Lucas Pedrosa that Chelsea have been denied for a second time following communication with the Premier League and its commissioners.

It’s stated that Santos would need to be an ‘indispensable player’ to secure his work permit, however this is not seen as the case due to the signings of Enzo Fernandez and Denis Zakaria (loan).

Now it looks likely Santos will depart on loan, as reported by Nizaar Kinsella, with Palmeiras being attributed to being the ‘strongest team in the fight’ for the midfielder this month.

Teams from Turkey have expressed interest but a switch back to Brazil until the summer is looking more and more likely.

Fellow January signing Malo Gusto returned to Cobham from his loan spell at Lyon following an ongoing hamstring problem.

“Malo is here to help with his rehab, the club made that decision. But it’s nice to meet him and nice to see him in person around the building. But we’re just trying to help him get back fit.”