An update has arrived on a potential January deal for Chelsea’s Kenedy, with suggestions from the Mail and the Chronicle that a loan deal has been agreed between the two clubs, but will only be concluded once Chelsea sign a replacement – something that Antonio Conte has reinforced in a press conference yesterday.
The 21-year-old can play anywhere down the left but has been limited to Carabo Cup appearances for Chelsea this season – bagging a goal and an assist in the process. He was a player linked in the closing moments of the summer window but a deal did no materialise.
It was reported in the Mail last month that a deal had been struck for Benitez to sign the Brazilian in January, and the man who broke the story – North-East correspondent Craig Hope – has offered this update on the deal on Twitter yesterday:
I don't know when but it's all agreed in terms of numbers etc. Kenedy wants to come & Rafa planning for his arrival. Just need Chelsea to sign off.
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) January 2, 2018
Promising stuff and claims that were also backed up by the Chronicle yesterday, who also stated that we were are ‘waiting for Chelsea to sign a replacement’ before a deal can be concluded.
The situation was also clarified somewhat by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, who admitted yesterday that it was ‘impossible’ for anyone to be sold before any replacement arrive:
“Our squad is not big. For this reason I think it’s impossible to send on loan one player or to sell one player, if we don’t take another player.”
So it’s good news and bad news really. A deal appears to be all but done, however it does rely on Chelsea signing a replacement – so this is a deal that is clearly in the pipeline but one that could take some time to be completed yet.
Rafa will be anxious to get new faces in earlier mind, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him turn his attentions to other targets if Chelsea took too long to find a replacement and sanction the proposed deal.
Keep your eyes peeled for a left-sided signing at Stamford Bridge folks. It may just coincide with Kenedy holding up the black and white shirt at Newcastle!