Chelsea winger Willian has confirmed that he received, and rejected, an offer from Barcelona in 2018.
The Brazilian was heavily linked to the Spanish giants last year by reports and the playmaker has now revealed that there was truth behind the rumours.
Five things to know about Willian’s Chelsea career…
- Willian joined Chelsea in 2013 after snubbing rivals Spurs.
- He appeared in 36 of the 38 games in Chelsea’s title-winning 2014/15 season.
- In 2015/16, he won Chelsea Fans’ Player and Players’ Player of the Year.
- However, his popularity at Stamford Bridge has waned.
- Rumours of Barcelona’s interest were met with surprise last year.
Willian has started this season strongly under Frank Lampard, who has previously hailed him as the best player of the campaign so far, and his contributions have gone some way to plugging the Eden Hazard-shaped hole in Chelsea’s squad.
He has four goal contributions in his last five games for Chelsea and was nominated for the Premier League Player of the Month for October.
Willian’s contract is due to expire in the summer, and he is permitted to hold pre-contractual talks with any potential suitors from January. Barcelona could well be one of them, a club Willian has admitted were interested last year.
He said: “The only real official offer I had came from Barcelona, last year, after the World Cup.
“Barcelona indeed presented an offer to Chelsea but it was rejected.
“That was the only actual time I had to discuss something like this with my family, although we really love it here (London). So there were several factors that helped us in staying.”
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Where next for Willian?
Willian has made it very clear that he is keen on staying at Chelsea beyond 2020 but, as things stand, he will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of this season.
When quizzed on his future, Willian insisted that he wanted to remain in Europe in order to continue competing at the highest level. However, his home nation could well come calling at the end of his career.
He added: “If I have to return to Brazil, I’d like to play at Corinthians again.
“It represents a lot, I was born and raised there, my footballing career began there when I was nine, I’ve spent my entire childhood there.
“I’ve been a Corinthians fan since I was little, even before I played there, my family also supports the club.
“So when I got there all my relatives were very happy, and then, after I got to the first team, everyone was overjoyed.”