Willian looks set to join Barcelona on a free transfer this summer after Chelsea opted against selling him with his contract running down in January.
Barcelona are close to agreeing terms with the 31-year-old, which would see him arrive at Camp Nou as a free agent once his deal at the Premier League club expires in June.
It is believed Willian has, for some time now, considered his long-term future away from Chelsea after spending seven years at the club he joined in 2013.
Barcelona are close to agreeing a deal to sign Willian once his Chelsea contract is up at the end of this season, report Marca 🤔
He’s on the bench for Chelsea today #LEICHE
Barça, who have made their interest in the Brazilian winger known over the past few transfer windows, have now moved quickly to secure their man in the summer, according to Spanish newspaper Marca.
Willian, who is represented by the same agency as Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho, could join his compatriot back at Camp Nou in the summer.
Over the last few seasons, negotiations between the player, Barcelona, and Chelsea have taken place, but have never reached the stage whereby the Blues were likely to lose their man.
Kepa dropped in favour of Caballero 🤔
Pedro in favour of Willian 🇪🇸
Team news is in!
However, now that he has spurned the club’s advances of a signing a contract extension, Chelsea are resigned to lose him to Barça for free in the summer, perhaps influencing his manager’s decision to drop him to the bench in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Leicester on Saturday.
Despite Frank Lampard knowing Willian is unlikely to re-sign, the club decided to keep him on the books given their current shortage of attacking options at their disposal after a difficult and unfruitful January transfer window.
Willian did come off the bench late on at Leicester, though Michy Batshuayi surprisingly didn’t play a part, and Olivier Giroud was left out of the matchday squad.
Lampard admitted that his side are underdogs in the race for the top four as they were unable to strengthen in the window, despite their transfer ban being lifted in time.