Willian Says 'My Wish Is to Stay at Chelsea' amid Barcelona Transfer Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Willian da Silva of Chelsea in action during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Chelsea FC and Lille OSC at Stamford Bridge on December 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Chelsea forward Willian has said he wants to extend his stay at the club and has confirmed his agent is in talks with the Blues about a new contract.

The Brazilian moved to Chelsea in 2013 from Anzhi Makhachkala and has been a stalwart for the team since. This season, he's been a regular under manager Frank Lampard, offering key experience to a team that's packed full of young players.

Willian's future has been a hot topic recently, with the winger's current terms at Stamford Bridge poised to expire at the end of the season. Speaking to Yahoo Esportes (h/t James Westwood of Goal), the 31-year-old said he doesn't want to go anywhere:

"I have stated several times my wish is to stay at Chelsea. I like the club very much, I feel very welcome here, as well as my family, and we love living in London.

"However, I'm in the middle of the season and I try not to think about it so as not to lose focus on the field. My agent and the club are talking and I hope we can have some good news soon. In transfer windows it is normal to have bids and speculation, especially for players who are in the final year of their contract. But my focus is 100 per cent on Chelsea and the season."

Per Westwood, Barcelona have frequently been mentioned as possible suitors for Willian.

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Although the Brazil international has frustrated Chelsea supporters on occasion, he's been able to establish himself as a crucial player under a number of different managers. Willian has won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League in a blue shirt.

Per Sky Sports Statto, during that time he's also become one of the most prolific Brazilian players in the history of the Premier League:

Although a player with his talent should have arguably been more clinical in front of goal and productive in terms of assists, it's no surprise that so many managers have seen the value of having Willian around.

In addition to his experience, the winger is still full of flair and provides irrepressible energy on the right flank. Per broadcaster Alex Goldberg, his set-piece accuracy has left much to be desired at times:

Barcelona are blessed with a plethora of attacking talent, so a move for Willian would be a surprise. Aside from Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann, they have exciting rising stars in Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati.

With that in mind, an extension at Chelsea seems to be the likely option for Willian at this juncture. The Blues will surely be hopeful of tying him down to fresh terms before the new year, when the No. 10 will be able to talk to overseas clubs with a view to signing a pre-contract.