Willian is said to be ‘increasingly unlikely’ to remain at Chelsea beyond the end of the season with a move to Arsenal or Tottenham being suggested as ‘genuine possibilities’.
The Brazil international has entered the final months of his contract at Stamford Bridge and talks have so far stalled over the length of a new deal, the winger’s demands for a three-year contract unlikely to be met by the Chelsea hierarchy.
The west London side have a policy of offering only 12-month extensions to players over the age of 30, though have shown a willingness to compromise by offering Willian a two-year deal to remain at the club.
However, Willian is said to be seeking additional security while is also said to be insisting on a pay rise, demands which, according to The Athletic, are likely to see the 31-year-old’s seven-season spell at Stamford Bridge come to an end this summer.
Barcelona have previously shown a strong interest in signing the winger, though his preference is to remain in London with his family settled with both Arsenal and Tottenham now ‘genuine possibilities’ for a forward.
Arsenal’s finances are likely to be restricted should, as expected, the club fail to secure Champions League football for the fourth consecutive year, and the free transfer acquisition of an experienced Premier League campaigner could appeal to Mikel Arteta as he bids to add both quality and depth to his developing squad.
A move to Arsenal would see Willian make the same switch as former Chelsea teammate David Luiz, the defender moving to the Emirates in an £8 million deal last summer after contract negotiations with the Blues stalled in a similar fashion over the length of the proposed deal.
A move to Tottenham – for whom Willian almost signed before heading to Stamford Bridge – could also come to fruition where the winger would be reunited with Jose Mourinho at the north London side, the
Spurs’ season has been decimated by injuries as their lack of strength in depth, particularly in forward areas, has been woefully exposed and the addition of Willian would bolster their ranks as Mourinho’s rebuild begins.
Despite offering the former Shakhtar Donetsk player an extension, Frank Lampard is unlikely to be too concerned by the player’s potential departure, the club currently possessing youngsters Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic amongst their wide options, whilst a deal has already been finalised to bring in Ajax star Hakim Ziyech.
With fellow wide player Pedro also expected to leave the club this summer, Chelsea have been tipped to turn to the transfer market, the Blues amongst a host of clubs interested in a deal to sign in-demand Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.
The England international is expected to leave the Bundesliga side this summer, though the cost of signing the teenager and competition from several rivals – including Manchester United – could prove to be a stumbling block in securing a deal.