Chelsea defender Alex has revealed his desire to return to Santos after handing in a transfer request at Stamford Bridge.
The 29-year-old began his career with the Brazilian outfit before moving to the Premier League in 2004, and also appeared for PSV for three years on loan, and recently declared his intention to leave west London at the same time as striker Nicolas Anelka.
The centre back has not hesitated in naming the club in which he won the 2002 Brasileirao as his preferred destination, but admits a move may be problematic with his contract not set to expire until 2013.
"My first option will be Santos, but it depends on a lot of things. First, on a proposal from the club, it isn't just my decision," Alex told Terra.
"The biggest problem is that I still have a year-and-a-half on my Chelsea contract, it will be difficult to get released. If I had less time on the contract a return to Brazil would be easier."
Alex recognised that in order to return to the Peixe he would face a substantial wage drop, but he insisted that he was not fazed by the prospect.
"I have been aware of it since I asked for the transfer. I know that if I go back to Brazil the salary will not be the same, it will be tough to keep it even close. But that is not an issue for me, players who go back know they will lose out financially," he stated.
The player has also appeared 14 times for the Brazil national team and was part of the side which lifted the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela.