Chelsea are willing to allow Willian to leave Stamford Bridge for free at the end of his contract next summer, while Juventus are plotting a swoop for the Brazilian winger, according to Calciomercato.it.
The Turin outfit may also face competition for Willian’s signature, as Mundo Deportivo have reported that fellow Champions League side FC Barcelona may likewise plot a move to sign the soon-to-be free agent.
Juventus have been at the forefront of sides circling the free-agent market in recent years, with Fabio Cannavaro moving to the Serie A from Real Madrid in 2009, Paul Pogba from Manchester United’s academy in 2011, Kingsley Coman lured from Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 and Aaron Ramsey this summer when his contract at Arsenal expired.
The Old Lady are already planning on adding another high-tier name to their free agent collection next summer, with Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen muted as a potential target, but a move for Willian is seen as the more likely.
Chelsea are said to be unwilling to offer the 31-year-old a new deal to see that he remains at Stamford Bridge beyond his current £120,000-a-week terms (Spotrac), while Juve Sporting Director Fabio Paratici has been following his case for some time.
Calciomercato.it add that Paratici could face competition from Barcelona, though, as Mundo Deportivo reported over the weekend that the La Liga giant could reignite their interest in Willian, having seen multiple offers rejected by the Blues in recent windows.
Barcelona executives have remained intent on signing Willian for the past ten years, altogether, having first considered his services while he plied his trade for Shakhtar Donetsk, before moving to Anzhi Makhachkala and then on to Chelsea.
The Catalan side may return to the £31.5million-rated (TransferMarkt) forward’s situation in January as an alternative to SSC Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz – at which point they can agree a pre-contract that would see Willian move to the Camp Nou for free in the summer of 2020 – as Barca are keen to revitalise their first-team.
Back in January, Barcelona lodged a player-plus-cash deal that would have seen Chelsea acquire Malcom in place of Willian in a transfer worth around £50m (Telegraph).
If Chelsea are unwilling to offer Willian a new contract, it can only be assumed that the Blues feel he is asking for too much in terms of wages or contract length for the role he is envisaged to occupy in Frank Lampard’s plans going forward.
Should it be that Willian is the one rejecting a new deal, though, then Chelsea will have to hope one side look to acquire the Brazilian in January and pay for his services, otherwise they will be left watching him leave for nothing.
Arsenal managed to strike a deal with Manchester United that saw Alexis Sanchez leave with six-months remaining on his contract (BBC), and interest from Juventus and Barcelona in Willian could spark a bidding war to avoid missing out on a target.
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