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Chelsea reject £50m Willian bid from Barcelona — report

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Wait, what?

Where to even begin with this one?

According to the Daily Mail — no strangers to fiction over fact — Chelsea have rejected a massive £50m bid from Barcelona for Willian. This is a confusing development on multiple levels.

Barcelona themselves seem to be a random participant. They were last linked in December, but that was before acquiring Philippe Coutinho (Willian was supposedly the fallback option). Since then, the only talk has been Willian-to-Manchester United, which is a long-standing interest stoked by Willian’s sudden strong displeasure with Antonio Conte.

But selling not to a Premier League rival and getting £50m for a player a month shy of his 30th birthday? How did we not bite their hand off, regardless of how much we might like him personally, or as a player? Unless this “bid” is meant to serve as a warning or an example to United, the rejection doesn’t really make sense either.

So now we wait for the Manchester United bid, which Chelsea apparently will be hoping is more than £50m?