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Chelsea’s Andrey Santos set for Vasco da Gama return

Chelsea are close to agreeing on a deal for Andrey Santos to return to Vasco da Gama after his move to Palmeiras broke down, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Blues had been negotiating a deal for the player that would see him play in the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian top flight.

However, negotiations broke down as Chelsea wanted to recall the player in July ahead of next season. Palmeiras rejected the clause insisting on keeping him until December.

Chelsea had anticipated this could be a problem. They negotiated to send Santos back to Vasco da Gama, from whom they signed the midfielder for £15 million.

The Premier League club wants Santos to participate in the U20 World Cup with Brazil in May 2023. This demand was a key request from Chelsea who are covering the player’s salary.

Santos will now return to Vasco de Gama to continue his development. He had broken through their academy two seasons ago.

After struggling in his first campaign, he began to show why he is a highly-touted wonderkid. Last season, he scored eight goals and assisted four more in the Brazilian Serie B.

It was not his goals and assists that brought him the interest of the football world but his ability in midfield. The youngster is a dominant presence in the middle of the park.

Santos can break up attacks with his aggressive tackling and drive the ball forward with devastating effect.

The 18-year-old put his talents on the world stage at the South American Youth Football Championship that ended this month.

Santos captained his side to the title, showing his leadership qualities. He also finished as the top scorer with six goals alongside teammate Vitor Roque.

Chelsea hoped that his participation in the tournament would help them secure a work permit, but he missed out by one point after two trials.

They have now agreed on a deal to help him continue his development in familiar surroundings while preparing for the step up to the Premier League.

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