Chelsea are reportedly hoping to tie Willian down to a bumper new deal, and scupper Barcelona’s chances of securing his services this summer.

According to a report by Spanish publication Sport, Maurizio Sarri is battling hard to keep Willian at Chelsea beyond the summer transfer window. The Blues are set to offer an improved contract to the Brazilian, who is being heavily linked with a move to Barcelona.

The speculation surrounding Willian’s future continues to grow like wildfire. Barcelona have reportedly tabled a third bid to sign the Brazilian international. Manchester United also hold an interest in the 29-year-old. But, the Blaugrana remain heavy favourites to swoop him away from Chelsea this summer.

Barcelona’s interest in Willian does make some sense, despite a poor showing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup by the player. Ernesto Valverde currently has to depend solely on his full-backs to provide width and a pacy outlet on the flanks. Full-backs aside, Ousmane Dembele is the only player capable of providing the same.

Can Maurizio Sarri keep Willian away from Barcelona's clutches? (Photo courtesy - Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Can Maurizio Sarri keep Willian away from Barcelona’s clutches? (Photo courtesy – Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

The Brazilian’s addition will thus, help add dynamism to the Catalans’ attack. The fact that Willian is showing an inclination towards making his way to Camp Nou gives Barcelona further advantage in their bid to sign him this summer. But, Chelsea are determined to keep hold of Willian, with Maurizio Sarri already making it clear that he intends to retain his unsettled stars.

The Chelsea boss though, does not just have Barcelona to contend with in his fight to keep Willian at Stamford Bridge. Roman Abramovich is open to selling his disgruntled stars, Willian included, which could throw a spanner in the works for Sarri.

But, Sarri is hoping to change the Chelsea owner’s mind and persuade him to table a bumper new deal in order to tempt Willian to remain with the West Londoners. The prospect of playing Champions League football though, is pushing him towards Barcelona.

Barcelona are still the favourites to enjoy Willian’s services next season. The Catalans will hope that their latest bid worth £65 million will bring them closer to securing his services. Chelsea though, are optimistic the increased wages and a bigger role under Sarri will aid their chances of retaining the player.

The Willian transfer saga is certainly getting increasingly interesting by the day. It now remains to be seen if Chelsea are able to retain the 29-year-old, or if Barcelona succeed in swooping him away to Camp Nou. The Manchester United threat looms as well, and this is a saga that could drag on till the final weeks of the summer.

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