This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are keen on signing Willian on a free transfer next summer.
The Brazil international has been linked with a move to the Catalan giants for what feels like eternity, with the La Liga side reported to have made multiple approaches for the winger over the past few years.
Chelsea have rejected big-money approaches before, but with the 31-year-old’s contract running down, he will be free to speak to foreign clubs over a free transfer in the January window.
Watch Chelsea Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv Below
The report claims Barcelona are keen on reaching a pre-contract agreement with him in the winter.
In years gone by, the Blues have understandably been very reluctant to let go of the winger. The Brazilian has proven to be a reliable performer for the west London side, scoring 52 goals and providing a further 53 assists in 298 games. However, his displays last year left a lot to be desired.
Willian found the back of the net just eight times in 56 games, whilst he picked up his only goal of the currently campaign on Saturday afternoon against Brighton. Frank Lampard’s arrival as manager has prompted a new emphasis on making the best out of the club’s young talents, and someone like Callum Hudson-Odoi would stand to gain a lot if his teammate were to leave.
At 31, Willian is unlikely to get significantly better, and his presence in the squad simply limits the amount of first-team minutes Chelsea could potentially provide their rising stars. So whilst they may have firmly stood their ground on not letting him go before, the Blues should not stand in the way of his departure this time around.