The perennial lender to end his stay at Stamford Bridge to switch to the side of the Europa League
Chelsea released Lucas Piazon after nine years, the forward having accepted a four-and-a-half-year contract with Portugal’s Braga side.
Braga will pay no fees for Piazon, who has yet to complete a medical examination with the Primeira Liga squad.
The Blues were keen to reduce their loan pool ahead of new FIFA regulations coming this summer which limit clubs to stocking senior talent.
The move was delayed, however, after Rio Ave refused to relinquish Piazon’s registration to a rival, despite Chelsea having the contractual right to recall and sell their player.
The 26-year-old was forced to wait for his move while lawyers for the club and FIFA’s TMS department became involved in resolving the dispute to allow the transfer.
Piazon has only played three times for Chelsea since joining the club in a £ 5million ($ 7million) transfer from Sao Paulo in 2012.
He was the longest-serving senior player with a contract at the club with Cesar Azpilicueta, but has spent the majority of his career on loan at several different clubs.
Part of Piazon’s desire to leave the loan group is to find permanent housing for his young family, having had their first child at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
In Braga, he will meet the former manager of Rio Ave Carlos Carvalhal, who brought him to the Portuguese championship.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are trying to cut Frank Lampard’s first team down and look to find solutions for Fikayo Tomori and Marcos Alonso, as they are reportedly considering an exit for Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Tomori is attracting interest from unnamed Premier League clubs as well as AC Milan. Both Spain internationals, for their part, are more difficult to offload because of their high salaries.
Emerson Palmieri to stay put despite almost joining Juventus in summer transfer window and Chelsea will choose to keep Rudiger, who had briefly explored a move in January.
Tino Anjorin, Lewis Bate and Henry Lawrence are also considering moving on loan as Chelsea’s first team are so big, limiting the chances of the next generation of academy players.
Baba Rahman, meanwhile, has two loan deals at unnamed clubs in Spain and Germany, while Danny Drinkwater is among the players allowed to leave.
Chelsea have also rejected a £ 3million offer from Rostov for Ike Ugbo and are looking for £ 5million for the 22-year-old in-form striker on loan at Club Brugge.