Chelsea midfielder Willian has stopped short of dismissing a potential move away from the club next year, amid reported interest from Barcelona.
The Brazilian is due to become a free agent when his existing contract expires at the end of the 2019-20 campaign, with no offer of an extension at Stamford Bridge on the table as of yet.
The 31-year-old star has been a fixture in Frank Lampard’s line up at the start of the season, taking in 11 appearances across all competitions – scoring twice.
According to Metro Sport, Barcelona and Juventus are monitoring Willian’s situation with great interest, with the playmaker able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with any potential suitors from January onwards.
When discussing his future during an interview with Esporte Interativo this week, Willian refused to completely rule out a transfer away from Chelsea next year, but did insist that he is happy in his current surroundings at the moment.
“Of course when you talk about Corinthians, the club that launched me, I have great affection,” he said. “But honestly, I don’t think about returning to Brazil.
“I think I have a lot of wood to burn here in Europe. I have a market. I’m very happy here at Chelsea.
“Of course, my contract is ending now, at the end of the season it’s over. But I’m happy at Chelsea and I plan to stay out here.”
Chelsea have plenty of alternative options in midfield should Willian end up leaving, but it seems likely he will be offered a new deal considering the prominent role he enjoys in Lampard’s set up.
The Blues will have to tie up his future quickly though, with Barca and Juve likely to step up their efforts to sign the Brazil international when the transfer window reopens in January.
Willian will be back in action when Chelsea travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley on Saturday, where they will aim to extend their recent winning run to seven matches.