A new contract extension for Willian has been rumored since the start of the calendar year, though at the time, even he put his own concerns as secondary to other, more pressing matters, such as David Luiz’s expiring contract.
Since then, the Geezer has gotten his new deal and even broke through the club’s arbitrary barrier of only offering single-year extensions to players over 30, signing a new two-year deal last month.
But if Willian thinks that a similar exception will be afforded him as well, apparently he would be very wrong. According to the Evening Standard’s Simon Johnon, Chelsea are “only prepared to offer Willian another year on top of what he has left” — i.e. the standard one-year contract extension given in the final year of a contract for players over 30.
The report does expect Chelsea to reach a compromise, just as we did with David Luiz, but whether that will also involve relaxing said rule is far from clear — the situation was more “dire” with the defender since his contract was expiring and Willian still has a year to go. Eden Hazard’s departure and the two-window transfer ban does make it a bit more imperative to keep Willian around and happy, which seems to be our plan. Just yesterday, it emerged that we supposedly rejected two £35m bids recently, from Barcelona as well as Atlético Madrid.
Willian has been a consistent, certainly adequate, and at times even fantastic player for us since 2013, working constantly in the shadow of Hazard. This now could be his best and last chance to truly shine as he closes in on 300 Chelsea appearances.