The future of Chelsea winger Willian will be decided after the FA Cup final, according to his agent Kia Joorabchian.
The Brazilian’s contract is due to expire once Chelsea’s involvement in the Champions League comes to an end and there are differing reports about where he could end up.
Sky Sports have reported that Willian is close to agreeing a new deal with Chelsea, with the two clubs previously stuck on the length of any new deal. Chelsea are reportedly only willing to offer a two-year extension, while Willian wants nothing less than a three-year deal.
Elsewhere, it’s been reported that the two clubs have stopped discussions due to the differences in offer and demand and that the 31 year-old will join Arsenal on a free transfer.
Kia Joorabchian, who has good links at Arsenal and acts as an agent to Willian, spoke to TalkSPORT on Tuesday and revealed that the player has five offers to choose from and will make his decision after this weekend’s FA Cup final.
He revealed that the offers included two Premier League clubs, two clubs from Europe and one MLS side. He refused to name any of the sides, including whether they were separate from Chelsea’s offer or included it.
My assumption is that the two English clubs, as mentioned above, are Chelsea and Arsenal. Ironically of course, it is they who meet in the FA Cup final this weekend and Willian is expected to start for the Blues as Frank Lampard and Mikel Arteta both look for their first silverware in their managerial careers.
In Europe, I would hazard a guess that one of the clubs interested is Inter Milan. Having worked under Antonio Conte previously, Willian will know what to expect and Conte will enjoy having him around in that attacking position. With Inter expected to lose Lautaro Martinez this summer to Barcelona, they will look to replace him with a quality addition. Obviously they could use the money brought in by the sales to sign someone else, but with Willian available for free Conte could be tempted to bring him in and use the cash to bolster other areas of his squad.
Another option could potentially be Spanish outfit Barcelona. They have been linked with the player constantly over the years and now that he’s available for free, their interest will surely be reignited. After calls from icon Lionel Messi to strengthen the squad this summer, the club have already brought in Miralem Pjanic from Juventus. As mentioned already, they are also being linked with Martinez from Inter but the Italian giants are adamant he won’t leave for less than his €111million release clause and with the current climate it’s unlikely Barcelona can pay that much. That means they could look for a cheaper alternative and that is where Willian could come in.
I think the most likely options for Willian will be the Premier League clubs. An MLS side may be interested but he’s not at that point in his career yet for me, while the two European clubs seem to not have him down as priority options. Obviously it’s possible that I have the wrong European clubs in the running, but he seems to have made it clear that he wants to play in the Premier League. His first option would be to stay at Chelsea, but if they don’t meet his demands or find a compromise he’ll happily go north and exchange blue for red next season.