Brazilian whizkid Nathan is reportedly due in London to undergo a medical ahead of completing a transfer to Chelsea.
A deal in the region of £4.5m has allegedly been agreed for the Atletico Paranaense playmaker, who is widely regarded as the hottest prospect in the land of joga bonito.
Such is the confidence the bwin odds moguls have about him sealing the deal, they go as short as 5/2 about the 19-year-old spending the next campaign on loan at the Blues’ affiliate outfit Vitesse Arnhem.
It’s 7/25 that he continues his development with the Capital One Cup winners though, and his potential arrival at Stamford Bridge suggests Jose Mourinho isn’t as keen on three seldom seen Chelsea talents as he has previously let on.
Here are the trio of peripheral figures whose futures in west London have been compromised by Nathan’s imminent arrival.
Chelsea couldn’t make any room in their squad for their 2013/14 Young Player of the Year this season, farming him out on loan to first Sheffield Wednesday then MK Dons.
Under the temporary guidance of Karl Robinson, Baker is exemplifying what massive potential he has, notching three times in nine outings.
Another 19-year-old, it’s difficult to envisage the Special One making room in his midfield next term for two teenage attacking-midfielders, as well as Oscar.
If you believe every word to come out of the Chelsea manager’s mouth you’d be convinced of the existence of an FA conspiracy to stop the west Londoners prospering and that highly-regarded Loftus-Cheek will feature regularly for the club next term.
The rangy teen is, akin to Cesc Fabregas, a playmaker best deployed in the heart of the midfield, though he possesses the physical attributes to assist the defence in the same way Nemanja Matic does.
Despite a sustained spell of distinctly humdrum post-Christmas form, Fabregas has remained a fixture in the Chelsea side, while Mourinho isn’t the sort of coach willing to risk results by allowing an inexperienced campaigner shield his back four.
Should Nathan feature in the first-team next term, there’s no way either of the current central-midfield duo will be taking time out of the team, hence no place for Loftus-Cheek.
The Colombian has started just two top-flight games in his Blues career and his prospects of making further teamsheets next season are jeopardised by Nathan’s signing.
If the Brazilian teen slots into the number ten role, Oscar will move to the already heavily-trafficked Chelsea wings, where Willian and Eden Hazard share something of a duopoly, thus pushing Cuadrado further down the pecking order.