According to ESPN Brasil journalist João Castelo-Branco, Willian prefers signing a new contract to stay at Chelsea over moving to Barcelona as a free agent at the end of the season, as was rumored this weekend by Spanish media. Contrary to those reports, Willian does not have a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona, or any other team, at this point.
The reasoning is quite simple and unsurprising, especially for a player who has repeatedly rejected the Catalan giants over the last few years. Willian and his family are well settled in England after nearly seven years living there, and even starting a small business on the side with the co-ownership of a restaurant.
To avoid uprooting his family, Willian continues to seek an agreement with Chelsea for a new contract, but the two parties remain apart on the length of the proposed deal and don’t seem to be making much progress, despite head coach Frank Lampard’s repeated urgings to get the deal done already.
Chelsea’s club-policy of single-year extensions for players over 30 is something Willian has yet to agree to. He has until June to do so, or to convince Chelsea to give him a longer contract. Otherwise, he’s going to have to look elsewhere for gainful employment.
Who will blink first?