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Willian Dismisses Palmeiras Links on Twitter Amid Manchester United Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2017

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 31:  Willian of Chelsea FC in action during the UEFA Champions League group C match between AS Roma and Chelsea FC at Stadio Olimpico on October 31, 2017 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images )
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Chelsea forward Willian has taken to social media to dismiss suggestions he is set to return to Brazil next season. 

Speculation has emerged in the 29-year-old's homeland about potentially making a switch to Palmeiras. Journalist Sandro Barboza posted a message on Twitter about a future transfer, and the Chelsea man responded in turn:

Willian @willianborges88

@Osandrobarboza Oi Sandro, tudo bem? Desculpe, mas não estou negociando com o Palmeiras e meu empresário não recebeu nenhum contato do clube. Não tenho nenhum plano de voltar ao Brasil nesse momento. Um abraço!

"Sorry, but I don't have the goal of returning to Brazil and never spoke, or my representative, with any one at Palmeiras," read the post, per Vaishali Bhardwaj of the Evening Standard. "This is nothing but speculation. A big hug!"

Willian has fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea since the arrival of manager Antonio Conte, with Eden Hazard and Pedro filling the two wide positions most frequently in the Italian's 3-4-3 system.

There have been rumours about the player's future as a result. As well as the links to the Brazilian side, as noted by Neil Fissler of the Sunday Express, Manchester United are also said to be interested in landing the player.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16:  Jose Mourinho Manager of Chelsea pulls a face as an injured Willian of Chelsea walks past him holding his right leg during the UEFA Champions League match between Chelsea and Maccabi Tel-Aviv at Stamford Bridge on Septembe
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho has worked with Willian previously. As noted by Simon Peach of the Press Association, it appears there's still a strong bond between the player and the coach:

Simon Peach @SimonPeach

José Mourinho has been posing for selfies & speaking to a lot of old friends on the touchline. Had a big hug for a bloke called Willian https://t.co/lud70o8ZH0

Willian may not make it into the current starting XI at Chelsea, though it's clear he still has something to offer.

The forward can operate in a number of different positions, whether that be on either flank or through the middle. Willian is quick with the ball at his feet, has limitless energy levels and is also a major threat from set pieces. It's why Conte would be against letting him move away from Stamford Bridge any time soon.

Conte will utilise Willian over the course of the festive period.
Conte will utilise Willian over the course of the festive period.ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

The Brazilian's form has suffered as a result of being on the sidelines, though, and when he has come into the team lately he's been rusty. 

The Blues, however, already made one mistake in allowing Nemanja Matic to leave the club for the Red Devils, and they won't want to do the same again.

While a move back to Brazil doesn't appear to be on the cards quite yet for Willian, as noted by Fissler there has been interest in the forward from the Chinese Super League too. If he was to go anywhere, a transfer abroad would surely be in the best interests of Chelsea.

Still, with so many games coming up before the end of the year, Conte will be forced into rotating his side due to fatigue and fitness issues. Willian will no doubt get a chance to show what he can do, and at this point it feels imperative he seizes that opportunity with speculation about an exit beginning to intensify.

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