Willian is on the verge of leaving Stamford Bridge, as he’s been unable to come to terms with Chelsea over a contract extension. He may have played his final game already, in fact, if the coronavirus pandemic forces the cancelation of the current season.
Although Willian gets (more than) his fair share of criticism, he could still be a valuable player for many clubs in England and abroad — and he knows it. In his home country of Brazil, where players like him can dominate the entire football scene (as shown by Flamengo’s success last year), he would easily become the most valuable player on a team despite being years removed from his physical peak.
If he chooses to return to Brazil, his childhood club Corinthians would be his most likely destination. Their president, Andrés Sanchez, is quite sure of that.
“If Willian wants to return to Brazil, his priority would be Corinthians. And Corinthians would go after him.”
The issue however is money. Willian would have to take a severe pay cut since clubs in the country cannot meet their European counterparts in wage offers. The situation gets even more difficult when you factor in the decline of Brazil currency’s over the past decade, with the COVID-19 pandemic only strengthening that trend.
“He would earn a bit more than we pay [for other players], but less than what he gets nowadays. He cannot earn much more than Cássio and Fagner, who are also international players.
“[But] I do not agree with paying R$1.5m for a player and R$500,000 to another one. I do not think it is fair.”
-Andrés Sanchez; source: Lance!
Luckily for Sánchez, Willian’s intent is to remain in Europe, as he has made clear in the numerous interviews he has done for Brazilian media since the lockdown began.
But once Willian is older and no longer capable of being a regular starter for most top European clubs, then Corinthians could have a real chance of taking him back home.