Chelsea winger Willian looks increasingly likely to leave the club this summer, having rejected the club’s most recent effort to retain his services until 2022.
Having impressed with his consistency and professionalism this season, Willian’s injury-enforced absence from the FA Cup final on Saturday was touted as a contributing factor to their heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Arsenal.
His importance to the team has been underlined by how keen Frank Lampard and the Blues hierarchy have been to keep him beyond the end of his current deal, which expires at the end of the season. The Chelsea boss said at the end of June that the two parties remained in talks over an extension, but the player has stood firm on his demands for a three-year deal – something the board are unwilling to offer.
The Guardian say that this impasse is unlikely to be resolved, and with Chelsea’s Champions League last 16 tie at Bayern on Saturday likely to be their final match of the season (they trail 3-0 from the first leg, play the odds), it’s thought Willian could announce his departure from the club shortly after.
Arsenal are believed to be very keen to sign the 31-year-old, and may be willing to give him the three-year contract that he claims is a deal-breaker no matter where he goes next.
They are believed to be one of two Premier League clubs who have made offers, after the player’s agent Kia Joorabchian confirmed he has five options on the table – with two clubs in Europe and one in MLS giving him plenty to think on.
Barcelona aren’t likely to be one despite their prior interest, while mlssoccer.com claim that David Beckham’s Inter Miami – still on the lookout for one designated player – are the Stateside club in the frame.