According to the Evening Standard, early talks have been held between Chelsea and Willian over a new contract. This is in line with Willian saying last month that his contract is not quite a priority yet, and also in line with Chelsea apparently rejecting approaches and bids from Barcelona and PSG in the January transfer window.
However, the two sides are quite far apart in these early talks, as Willian’s seeking a long deal while Chelsea are offering the standard single-season extension. Willian turned 30 last summer, so as per club policy, he cannot be signed to anything longer than that — especially not to another four years, to 2023, as he reportedly wants.
#cfc won't change contract policy just to ensure #Willian doesn't follow #Fabregas out of Stamford Bridge. More here: https://t.co/BJRMS1OcES— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) February 5, 2019
It’s the same situation as David Luiz and Cesc Fabregas have recently experienced as well. The latter has found a new home in Monaco (signing a 3.5-year contract) but the former may have been convinced to stay on the short-term deal. Either way, Willian is certainly not irreplaceable either and it would be a humongous surprise if Chelsea broke their own rule for him after not doing so for John Terry or Frank Lampard or anyone else.
While the recent news that Eden Hazard is “expected” to push for an exit this summer could make keeping Willian a priority, it’s probably time to think longer-term at the position (Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, etc.).