Chelsea have reportedly turned down a swap offer from Barcelona, who proposed a deal for Willian in exchange of Malcom plus cash.
According to a report by Daily Telegraph, Barcelona have reignited their interest in Willian, and are pursuing a move for the Brazilian this month. The La Liga champions have offered Malcom plus cash to Chelsea for the 30-year-old, with the Blues swiftly knocking back the bid.
Chelsea’s attack has been mired in uncertainty for all sorts of reasons, for much of the past twelve months. Transfer sagas, poor form and winding down contracts, just about every forward at the club has seen his future called into question over the last couple of transfer windows.
One such player is Willian, who was heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge before Maurizio Sarri swooped in and turned the player’s head. However, the Brazilian’s future continues to be shrouded in uncertainty, with Barcelona renewing their interest in the Chelsea superstar.
Barcelona were indeed one of the clubs that tried to sign Willian last summer, albeit unsuccessfully so. They eventually zeroed in on Malcom as the alternate option to the Brazilian, but the 21-year-old has struggled to settle in at Camp Nou, having been restricted to just three starts so far this season.
Despite his struggles though, it is still somewhat surprising that the youngster’s future at Barcelona is up in the air, with a January exit being mooted. And, the Blaugrana are hoping to use their interest in Willian by offering Malcom as a sweetener to Chelsea.
For one, the Blues would have a direct replacement in attack for the experienced winger, with Malcom possibly being a long-term solution for them. That Barcelona are also willing to offer cash in addition to the young winger, bringing the valuation of the deal to around £50 million, makes it an appealing prospect.
But, Chelsea have swiftly rejected Barcelona’s offer for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the Premier League heavyweights value Willian higher than what has been proposed as part of the deal. Secondly, Sarri is unwilling to let go of the player he rates so highly.
Additionally, the fact that the possibility of Callum Hudson-Odoi departing from the Bridge cannot be ruled out only adds to Chelsea’s hesitancy in letting Willian join Barcelona. The Blues will have to integrate a new player in the middle of the season, having sold two players from their first-team setup, which is not exactly an ideal scenario.
Chelsea are also hoping to tie Willian down to a new deal as well, which suggests they have no interest in selling him anytime soon. Barcelona, on the other hand, are intent on offloading Malcom, irrespective of whether they are able to land Willian. However, it remains to be seen if the Catalans are able to sign their target, and what the future holds for Malcom.