Chelsea January signings returns to former club after work permit application rejected


Chelsea midfielder Andrey Santos is to rejoin his former club Vasco de Gama on loan after the club failed to secure a work permit for him, it has been confirmed. The 18-year-old signed for the Blues from the Brazilian side in January for a reported £17.5million but has been unable to feature, prompting the club to seek a solution that will allow him to play first-team football whilst the issue is resolved.

The PA news agency understands that Santos missed the threshold for work-permit approval by a single point. He will return to Stamford Bridge in the summer ahead of their anticipated tour of the US. Last month he helped Brazil to victory in the South American U20 Championship, scoring in the final victory against Uruguay. He finished as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals.

‘He now has the opportunity to develop further at the level,’ Chelsea said in a statement. Previously, he had helped Vasco to regain their top-flight status in Brazil, winning promotion with his boyhood side in 2021 to earn his move to Stamford Bridge.
Javi Gracia, meanwhile, takes his Leeds United side to Chelsea on Saturday, hoping to upset the west Londoners, just as he did with his Watford team five years ago. The Spaniard had only recently taken the reigns at Vicarage Road when he welcomed the challenge of Antonio Conte’s Chelsa side in February 2018 and spectacularly got the better of the Blues.

‘I remember it perfectly,’ he told a press conference on Thursday. ‘It was my second win and my first win at home. ‘I hope this will be the same. It was a tough game, we were a little bit lucky because there was a red card.’

There is plenty of pressure on the side in 17th in the Premier League, but just as much on Chelsea boss Graham Potter as he struggles badly for results. Gracia will hope to get the better of the Englishman on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, but rates him highly and wishes him well.

‘The only way you change opinions is with good results,’ he said. ‘In my opinion, Potter is a fantastic manager. I wish all the best for him.’

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