Barcelona have launched a bid for Chelsea winger Willian in the past few hours, in the region of £60m.
This bid marks the third the Catalan club have submitted for the Chelsea star, as they look to revamp their squad ahead of a season that could set the tone of Spanish football for years to come.
The Brazilian has been one of their Chelsea’s more consistent players over the previous seasons, and following the London club’s failure to make the Champions League this season, it seems natural for Europe’s elite to want to poach a winger as direct, pacey and clinical in his approach as Willian. His ability from set pieces only add to his value.
Whilst it is plausible for Manchester United to be seeking his signature, Barcelona’s pursuit of Willian is a little odd, when you consider they splashed upwards of £200m on wide men last season, with young Ousmane Dembele arriving in the summer, and Phillipe Coutinho in January.
At 29 years old, Willian would be in the prime of his career, but £55m seems to be a little steep when you consider that there is a real possibility that he may be second choice at the Spanish club. Further, if he is indeed first choice, then it puts an even greater question mark on the role of Ousmane Dembele, a man signed for in excess of £100m only 12 months ago.
Willian has 50 goal involvements in his 156 Premier League appearances from the wing, and with Maurizio Sarri employing direct, pacey and dynamic wingers like Callejon and Insigne to such devastating effect whilst at Napoli, it is hard to see him sanction a move that allows Willian to leave without at least securing a player who walks into his XI in return.
Written by Ayush Verma