In Focus: Willian’s versatility means Chelsea should snub Man United interest

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has no plans to sell forward Willian despite big interest in the Brazilian, according to the London Evening Standard.

What’s the word?

Having struggled to wholly impose himself on Conte’s 3-4-3 system this season, the 28-year-old has been touted as a potential target for Manchester United and former manager Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese, who signed him initially, is previously reported to have instructed Ed Woodward to pursue the midfielder.

With Pedro and Eden Hazard impressing in the attacking midfield positions behind Diego Costa, the Selecao samba star has been restricted to just 13 starts in the Premier League this season.

However, Conte is understood to be eager to keep Willian in west London, especially with the added burden of competing in the Champions League next season.

Why not cash in?

Well, retaining a squad with enough quality to compete on both domestic and continental fronts next season is obviously the main one. Willian is an effective outlet and thrives in the counter-attacking system Chelsea have adopted in the biggest games this season, as was evident in the win over Manchester City back in December.

Furthermore, his work rate also affords Conte to deploy him in deeper positions. At a push, the former Anzhi Makhachkala man could also be deployed as a right-wing back, a useful option during next season’s busier schedule.