Barcelona have been linked with a move for Chelsea ace Willian, and a report in Spain suggests that a player swap deal could be on the table.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a solid season with the Blues last year, contributing 13 goals and 12 assists in 55 appearances in all competitions.
Although it wasn’t enough to secure Champions League football for next season, it did help them en route to the FA Cup, although Willian didn’t always establish himself as a key figure for Antonio Conte and hasn’t been consistently impressive for Brazil in the World Cup to this point.
Despite that, he continues to be linked with a move to join the Catalan giants, although Mundo Deportivo report that either Andre Gomes, Rafinha or Paulinho could be inserted into a player swap deal given Chelsea are said to want a whopping €80m for the winger.
It’s questionable if Willian is even worth that much, as although he would bring a different dynamic to the Barcelona attack with his pace, movement and direct running, coach Ernesto Valverde already has Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho at his disposal to consider in the attacking third.
Whether or not Willian raises the level significantly is up for debate, but if the above report is to be believed, then Barcelona are taking the possibility of signing him seriously if they intend on offering players in return.
Gomes and Rafinha have struggled to establish themselves at the Nou Camp to earn a regular spot in the starting line-up, while Paulinho’s exit would be more of a shock given that he played a key role for Barca last season after joining from Guangzhou Evergrande last summer.
In turn, it remains to be seen if Barcelona step up their pursuit of Willian after the World Cup, and if they’re indeed willing to sacrifice a player to bring his cost down and land his signature.