Speaking after Kenedy scored his double at the weekend, Rafa was asked about the possibility of the Brazilian staying long term.
The manager wasn`t however particularly optimistic that a permanent deal could be agreed with Chelsea. He was quoted by the Chronicle as saying:
‘I have no idea if there is a chance we can keep him after the end of the season, I think at the moment we have to make sure we enjoy him while he is here.’
We have lacked a cutting edge in the final third this season, but the 22 year old has certainly given the team that extra lift since his arrival on loan. With those two goals added to an assist against Burnley, he has already been crucial to us getting at least four points since the turn of the year.
It would be a shame if we can`t sign him permanently, but as the gaffer says: it is out of our hands. A decision to sell the winger will likely happen in the summer when the Blues have assessed all their options.
Under Antonio Conte they currently play with wing backs with Emerson Palmieri having joined from Roma in January to support first choice Marcos Alonso. If the manager remains in place, these two would likely remain ahead of our no.15 in the pecking order, which would help a transfer to take place.
Otherwise, if a new coach does come in with new ideas and a new system, I think a switch to St James` will be far less likely, but we will have to wait and see.