Frank Lampard has made no secret of his wish for Willian to stay at Chelsea beyond the current season, speaking repeatedly throughout the season to that effect. The head coach will have thus surely welcomed the reopening of contract talks between the player and the club, which he confirmed in yesterday’s pre-match press conference.
“I haven’t given up hope on it.
“The club are still in discussions with him. We want him to stay but I also appreciate the fact this contract for Willian is a big deal because of his age. I have been there before myself, but the way he is playing at the moment shows his worth to the squad and I hope it is something we can get to.
“Whichever way, he has been a great servant to the club and if we can get there, I’ll be happy. If not, I will certainly wish him well as I have a lot of time for him and in the short term, we can see what he is doing for us.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Getting past that impasse regarding contract length (Willian wanting three, Chelsea offering no more than two) will not be easy after a multi-month standoff, but as long as the conversation’s ongoing, there will be hope.
Willian has been one of Chelsea’s most consistent players all season (no surprise there) and also one of our best players since the Restart (also no surprise). He maybe a month shy of his 32nd birthday, but right now, he’s going as strong as ever, and that’s giving him confidence and belief that he can keep it going at the top level for a few years yet.
“I have plans to stay in Europe and try to play here maybe for three or four more seasons. I believe I can still perform on a high level. After that, when I will be 35, 36 years old, I intend to go to the United States and play there. It is a goal that I have.”
-Willian; source: ESPN
Willian will be out of contract in a month. That looked like the certain endpoint of his seven-year Chelsea career, but maybe we haven’t seen the last him after all!