While Willian is still enjoying his post-World Cup vacation, his future appears to hang in the balance. Various interviews and social media shenanigans towards the end of last season made it clear that he was less than happy at Chelsea, and while some of that had to do with Antonio Conte, Willian’s disillusionment seemed to be a bit more serious than just an issue with the coach, who gave him more appearances last season than any other player (though only half of those were starts).
Stories linking the near-30-year-old winger with an exit have been ubiquitous ever since, and while Sarri says he’s “confident” in keeping him, he also admits that he hasn’t actually talked to Willian since he wants to do that face-to-face (as with Hazard and Courtois). So if Willian were to agree a transfer before Sarri even has a chance to do that, it would not be that surprising.
And it looked like that might just happen with Barcelona, who had submitted at least three bids, all right around the £50-55m mark, only to see Chelsea reject them all. So Barca went and got Malcom instead, cheaper, younger, and a better signing in the long-term.
Is Willian thus staying at Chelsea?
Not if Tuttosport have anything to say about that. They drop the bombshell (via Sport Witness; since then picked up by The Sun and the Express, and the like) that Chelsea have “accepted” a €75m offer from Manchester United. Mourinho of course has been linked with a Willian reunion ever since taking over at United, so maybe he finally got his man? Tuttosport is unfortunately not the greatest source (especially when reporting on a deal between two English clubs), so take this with as much grain of salt as normally reserved for the source who were first to re-report it in England.
That said, while Willian is not as bad as he’s often portrayed to be in snap judgments and hot takes, if there is truly a €75m (£66m) offer, Chelsea should be biting United’s proverbial hand off ... especially as the ready made replacement in Christian Pulisic has just seen BVB open the bidding process at €70m.