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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.