Sources u-turn over future of €15m midfielder who could yet return to Ligue 1

Last week there were strong reports that Andrey Santos, the talented Brazilian central midfielder who spend last season on loan at Chelsea’s affiliate club Strasbourg, would be integrated into the first team squad next season, as he was seen as a “perfect fit” for new coach Enzo Maresca and his style of play.

That’s now been contradicted strongly by Simon Johnson, who has claimed that Chelsea are “open to the possibility” of the former Vasco de Gama player going back to play for Patrick Vieira’s team, where he really started to find some success towards the end of last season.

Transfermarkt value the Brazilian at €15m, and as he’s still just 20 years old there’s a lot to be said for keeping him in a place where he plays regularly and can adjust to the European game. We’re sure he’s itching to have a swing at playing for the Blues, but his experiences on the bench at Nottingham Forest in the first half of last season should be a warning.

An ever changing equation as the summer progresses

This back and forth isn’t helping anyone – until Maresca gets a look at players, there’s no point being too definitive about their futures.

Plans change right up until the last minute, especially in football where things like injuries and transfers can change the equation at a moment’s notice.

For now it does seem likely that the co-sporting directors are keen to integrate Santos into the first team squad and start to see some progress and some return on their investment. However they might easily look at the options they’ve got (especially with Conor Gallagher’s departure looking less likely) come the end of August and conclude that sending Santos back to Strasbourg where he was doing so well is in fact the best course of action.

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