Last evening, Chelsea star Willian all but confirmed that contract talks have broken down with the Blues, and he will be leaving Stamford Bridge in the summer.
The 31-year-old is out of contract in June, and while Chelsea were willing to offer him a two-year deal, Willian wanted a three-year contract. He said, “Chelsea said that three years would be impossible, so at the moment it seems unlikely that I’ll extend, but nothing is impossible. We might suddenly reach an agreement, but what I can say today is that my contract is up and I’ll be free to negotiate with any club.”
There are a number of clubs vying for Willian’s signature. Arsenal, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, and Tottenham are all said to be interested in bringing the Brazilian on to bolster their squad. But where could he end up?
Here are three teams who could benefit from signing Willian this summer.
As Mikel Arteta looks to put his squad together during the summer, Willian would be one player who would add a lot of experience and depth to Arsenal’s starting XI, at least for the next two to three years. And having an experienced player who has a winning mentality and who has been there and done it before and can give ready advice can only be a good thing.
Additionally, Willian provides the Gunners with an added benefit of having a winger who isn’t goal-shy. The Brazilian’s stats of 58 goals and 75 assists at Chelsea are certainly not phenomenal by any stretch but they are better than most options Arteta currently has.
Another huge plus is that he will suit Arsenal’s style of play. He’s quick and skillful, and putting him in a team with players of a similar nature will certainly cause a few problems for opposition teams.
Chelsea are interested in signing Philipe Coutinho, and a Willian-Coutinho swap deal with Barcelona could work out well for both parties. Barca’s interest in the former Shakhtar Donetsk man goes back two years, when he came close to joining the club before opting to remain at Chelsea. And their chances of signing the 31-year-old could be boosted by the fact that the winger’s representative agency, Sport Invest, is the same as Coutinho, who joined the club two years ago.
The LaLiga giants were interested in signing Willian for a fee in January but Chelsea weren’t willing to let him go given their current lack of options in the final third. And now the Blues risk letting one their most consistent players leave on a free transfer. Barca are said to be keen to improve their attacking options because they believe “their squad still lacks greater quality in depth and attacking flair”.
1. Tottenham Hotspur
Rumours are that Jose Mourinho is keen to make the 31-year old winger his first summer signing. The former Blues boss signed Willian for Chelsea before he was on the verge of a move to White Hart Lane, and the pair got on famously as they won the title in 2015. And he could now be in line to play for Mourinho once again, with Spurs ready to meet his three-year demand.
The Brazil winger was tracked by Mourinho while he was Manchester United boss and while a move never materialised, he remains keen to reunite with the player at Spurs. Mourinho is also trying to build his squad in the summer and if the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ can get Tottenham producing attractive, winning football on a regular basis, then a player with Willian’s skill would add a lot of value to the north London side.