After six years and change at Chelsea, Willian has just six months and change left on his Chelsea contract. Come January, he will be allowed to discuss terms with other teams and even agree to a free transfer for the summer.
Unlike some of the other veterans on the team however, Willian has remained a key part of the team. The youth revolution may be taking over, but the 31-year-old just keeps on ticking. He’s started 11 non-League Cup matches in a row, and the only other games he’s missed were due to a summertime injury that lingered into September. It’s probably helping that he’s having his best season since playing a key rotational role in Conte’s first, title-winning season three years ago.
Despite that apparent importance under Frank Lampard, there hasn’t been much talk about a potential contract extension. Both Lampard and Willian have hinted at wanting to continue the relationship, and it’s certainly possible that talks are underway and that we’re just hung up over the length of the extension, which was an issue before. Chelsea made an exception to the over-30 one-year rule for David Luiz, only to be dumped unceremoniously by the defender a couple months later, which could be making the club reticent in allowing for another exception.
But that’s just speculation. What is clear is that Willian loves it in London, he and his family are well-settled, and he even has a business that ties him down (the restaurant co-owned by David Luiz). Even when Barcelona came calling (again) in 2018, Willian wasn’t really ready to make the jump immediately. Not that it would’ve mattered too much, since Chelsea rejected the bid. He confirmed this last year already, but he told the same story to DAZN recently as well, and that’s making new headlines form old news once again.
“The only real official offer I had came from Barcelona, last year, after the World Cup. Barcelona indeed presented an offer to Chelsea but it was rejected.
“That was the only actual time I had to discuss something like this with my family, although we really love it here [London]. So there were several factors that helped us in staying.”
-Willian; source: DAZN via Mail
Barcelona’s bid may have been as high as £50m, if not more, which would make losing Willian for free a bit of a financial travesty — even if we have a fair bit saved up after the transfer ban. With Willian highly unlikely to be sold in January, a new contract could get worked out just to ensure that Chelsea receive some sort of compensation, if he does end up moving on.