With the resumption of the Premier League not thought to be too far away now, Chelsea have been boosted by the news that one of their senior players is willing to sign a short-term contract extension.
The Blues would still love to keep Willian long-term, but their two-year offer to the player doesn’t match his own three-year ambitions.
In the meantime, and with his current deal due to expire on June 30, the Brazilian is willing to put pen to paper so that he remains at Stamford Bridge until the last ball of the 2019/20 season has been kicked, according to talkSPORT.
It seems unlikely that Frank Lampard will be able to convince the player his future remains in west London during the intervening period too.
“It’s a difficult situation because Chelsea offered me two years and they are not going to change what they offered,” he said to Esporte Interativo cited by talkSPORT.
“I said I wanted three more years. The situation is difficult because of this. I really don’t know if it will be possible [to stay].
“My goal is to continue working and focus on the remainder of the season, so that Chelsea can continue winning games. I have a clear head and I’m focused for the rest of the season that we have left. I think it’s difficult. Let’s see what happens.”
At 31 years of age, the deal that Willian evidently requires will take him to 34, and as it appears that Lampard prefers a core of youth in his squad, this would be at odds with the vision that the manager potentially has in mind. Any movement to agree the deal would need to come from Willian’s end.
Given the coronavirus pandemic, it’s entirely possible that he won’t now get what he desires elsewhere, so he may have to end up accepting two years from the Blues in any event.