Chelsea transfer talks revealed after £12m deal with 'secret' clause and Mauricio Pochettino call


Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper has revealed he had a 'chat' with Chelsea earlier this week after questions continue to be asked over the plan and progress of talented midfield loanee Andrey Santos. Seven games into the season and the 19-year-old is yet to play a Premier League game after matching the temporary switch to the Midlands.

Santos arrived at Stamford Bridge as one of the first incomings in the youth recruitment drive started by Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital in January following on from a messy summer window. His move from Brazilian side Vasco Da Gama was greeted with great optimism having built up a reputation as one of the most impressive players in his age group.

His price, just £12million, was seen as a steal at the time for a teenager already captaining his country two age groups above and he went on to star in the Under-20 World Cup in May and June, scoring twice and assisitng once on the way to the quarter-finals.

It left him in a state of flux upon returning to Chelsea after the end of the 2023/24 season with Mauricio Pochettino coming in as the new manager, the second permanent man in-charge since Santos arrived. Now, having played a sizeable role in pre-season, he is on loan at Nottingham Forest as he looks to build experience in England.

The loan hasn't gone to plan so far though and Santos is already way down the pecking order at the City Ground. He sits behind Ryan Yates, Orel Mangala, Cheikhou Kouyate and Nicolas Dominquez as well as Danilo and Ibrahim Sangare with results and points a more pressing matter than the development of a Chelsea hopeful.

To compound matters, Santos was left out of the squad entirely for the defeat against Manchester City two weeks ago meaning that he could enter the second international break of the season without a single league minute. Cooper, who helped Forest stay up against all odds last term, isn't wanting to rush things still.

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"He's obviously a really good young player, I had a really good chat with Chelsea actually this week. I didn't realise that some stuff had been written about him," the Welsh coach said ahead of his side's trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"Like I said before, there's a lot of new players here and we're really trying to get the balance right in intergrating all the players at the right time while trying to perform as best we can in every single game to get the results that we want and that's a process. With young players it can take longer than others to settle in.

"I'm not saying that he's not [settling in] it's just circumstantial with some of the games like for example, Brentford would have been a really good game for him to come off the bench and then we go down to 10 men and he's not feeling too well on the side so that went against him because he was definitely in our thinking for a change.

"It didn't work out that well because of how he was feeling and the red card so there's a little bit of bad luck as well but I'm really enjoying working with him and seeing him in training and then we continue with that process."

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano tweeted earlier in the week after Santos was left unused in the draw with the Bees, writing: "Zero minutes again for Andrey Santos in Nottingham Forest - Brentford — 99 mins spent on the bench. He joined the club on loan from Chelsea in August after more than 10 loan requests over the summer."

It sparked conversations within the Chelsea fanbase over whether the loan was being wasted on a player that had impressed during the club's tour of America over the summer. The debate was then followed up by the Athletic reporting that there is a break clause in the deal meaning he could not only be recalled in January but also that there are financial penalties if he doesn't play when fully fit.

Currently it hasn't gone to play for Santos but it is also worth noting that Levi Colwill's eventual staring role at Brighton came after a slow start on the south coast last season. That being said there was not the level of competition in his part of the pitch that Santos now faces and actions will speak louder than words from Cooper in the coming weeks.

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