Chelsea are reportedly open to the idea of selling Brazilian forward Willian in the summer transfer window
According to a report in The Times, Chelsea are ready to offload Willian to raise funds in the summer transfer window. The Brazilian attacker is the subject of interest of the West London club’s Premier League rivals Manchester United.
Not one of the headline grabbers for Chelsea usually unlike Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, Willian has still managed to become an instrumental figure in nearly four seasons with the Blues.
His pacy outlet and directness has served as the ideal foil for Hazard and Diego Costa to flourish, making him a go-to man for first Jose Mourinho, and now Antonio Conte. His performances have been so good that he even managed to be Chelsea’s 2015/16 Player of the Year – a clear standout in a season of disasters for the Blues.
However, after starting the season strongly, the 28-year-old has had to suffice with appearances from the bench lately. That is because Spanish winger, Pedro, has enjoyed a season of resurgence at Stamford Bridge and has firmly established himself as a key player under the Chelsea boss.
As a result, Willian has been restricted to just 13 starts in the Premier League, the majority of which came in the first half of the campaign. He still has a decent return of seven goals and an assist to boast of in the opportunities that he has been given, but it is looking likely that he could leave Chelsea in the summer.
Manchester United are keen on signing him in the summer transfer window, with Jose Mourinho known to be an admirer of his talents. In fact, the Portuguese manager had made Willian one of his first signings during his second spell as the Chelsea boss, and the Brazilian was one of his success stories.
And having previously been a go-to man for Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, he could provide similar value to the Manchester United manager, should he make the switch to Old Trafford. His recruitment will also add a lot of pace and directness on the right wing – two qualities that have been missing at that position.
He will certainly be an upgrade on Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford – who is more influential as a centre forward. And it now emerges that Chelsea are open to selling Willian in the summer transfer window as well, as Conte prepares to make additions in attack – seemingly at his expense.
At 28, Willian is enjoying the best years of his career and can offer a short-term solution to Mourinho at Manchester United. The only possible stumbling block would be Chelsea’s unwillingness to sell to a direct rival within the Premier League.
Willian signed a new contract with Chelsea last summer, and the deal still has more than three years left to run. So, the Brazilian could command a sizable fee in the summer although it is unlikely to deter Manchester United. It now remains to be seen if the switch indeed takes place when the transfer window opens in June.