In his post-match press conference after Monday’s friendly in Perth, Maurizio Sarri repeated that he not only wants to have face-to-face discussions with each of the three players linked with big-money moves away from Chelsea, but that he remains confident that Chelsea will be able to hang on to all of them.
If that view is indeed shared by the club as well, rejecting a £55m bid from Barcelona makes sense. It also makes sense as some sort of negotiation tactic. Anything beyond that however, and the reasoning becomes a bit more spurious. Sure, Willian’s been a useful player and nowadays everyone seems to go for blockbuster prices, but at almost 30 and seemingly discontent with life at Chelsea, it’s tough to understand why we’re insisting on keeping him around.
Over the weekend, tabloid rumors linked Willian with improved future offers from Barca, a potential bidding war against Manchester United, and at least once even with a new Chelsea contract.
All possibilities appear to still be on the table.