Barcelona have reportedly tabled a £65 million bid to Chelsea for Willian, who is attracting interest from Manchester United once again.
According to a report by The Sun, Manchester United are back in the race to sign Willian in this summer’s transfer window. But, Barcelona remain the heavy favourites to sign the Chelsea winger, having increased their offer to around £65 million plus add ons.
Willian has become a hot property this summer after enjoying his best ever campaign in Chelsea colours in the 2017-18 season. Interest in him hasn’t ceded despite poor showings in the recently concluded FIFA World Cup. Brazil were ousted in the quarter-finals, while Willian failed to impress, with just one assist in five games to show for his efforts.
But, two of the biggest clubs in the world remain in his pursuit. While Barcelona have been hell bent on swooping him away from Chelsea this summer, Manchester United are back in the hunt for the 29-year-old.
At Barcelona, a non-EU spot has been freed up after Philippe Coutinho became eligible for a Portuguese passport. His compatriot Willian has thus, been a popular target for the Blaugrana, and for good reason as well.
Ousmane Dembele is the only regular in Ernesto Valverde’s squad capable enough to provide width and stretch play in the final third apart from the full-backs. Willian’s addition will thus, enable the Barcelona boss to add more dynamism to his attack. But, the Spanish champions face stiff competition from Manchester United in the Brazilian’s pursuit.
The problem at Manchester United is quite different to Barcelona’s. Jose Mourinho has enough wide players at his disposal in the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez. But, each of the players prefer operating from the left flank, leaving the likes of Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata as makeshift options for the right wing.
But, Lingard and Mata also prefer drifting inwards, which leaves the Manchester United boss with a left-heavy side and bereft of players to provide width on the right flank. Willian is thus, a viable target for the Red Devils. But, Mourinho faces an uphill battle in his bid to be reunited with the Brazilian, who reportedly prefers joining Barcelona.
Another possible obstacle for Manchester United will be Chelsea’s unwillingness to sell to a rival. Barcelona though, are hoping to persuade the Blues to part ways with Willian after offering £65 million plus add-ons for him. This is the fourth such offer from the Blaugrana, who have struggled to reach an agreement over the player’s transfer.
Chelsea though, will hope to keep hold of the Brazilian winger despite the colossal offer, with Maurizio Sarri urging his unsettled players to remain at Stamford Bridge. For now, it’s advantage Barcelona, who will fancy their chances of beating Manchester United to Willian’s signature.