Barcelona have reportedly declined a chance to sign Brazilian winger Willian, whose contract with Chelsea is set to expire in the summer.
As per a report from Spanish publication Sport, La Liga champions Barcelona have passed up an opportunity to land Chelsea winger Willian in the summer transfer window.
Willian, who has been at Chelsea since 2013, is in the final few months of his current contract with the Blues. Negotiations over a new deal have hit a roadblock, with the Brazilian demanding a three-year contract while the club are willing to offer only two years on the new deal.
This has led to intense speculation surrounding the future of the seasoned campaigner, with a number of clubs monitoring the situation with keen interest. Premier League giants Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are believed to be interested in securing Willian’s signature on a free come summer.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich have also been linked. And as per the report from Sport, Barcelona were offered the 31-year-old by his agent Kia Joorabchian. But, the Catalans have decided against signing the Brazilian, despite having been linked with him on numerous occasions previously.
Indeed, the La Liga champions had been intent on signing Willian as recently as the January transfer window. However, heading into the summer, Barcelona have other priorities, resulting in them not pursuing the signature of the Chelsea superstar.
The Catalans are keen on recruiting Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan. And a return to Camp Nou for former Barcelona superstar Neymar is also on the agenda heading into the summer transfer window for the Blaugrana.
So, turning down the chance to sign Willian, even if it is on a free transfer, makes sense for Barcelona, given the likelihood of a bloated wage bill next season as well as an overload of attacking options.
Willian has been a key player for Chelsea since joining the club. The seasoned campaigner has had a decent season under Frank Lampard, scoring 7 goals and setting up 6 more in 37 matches across all competitions.
Willian has stated his intentions of staying put in London while Lampard too wants the 31-year-old at the club next season. But, it remains to be seen if Chelsea are able to agree a new contract with the Brazilian international in the coming months.