It appeared to be an admission of sorts and Frank Lampard might well start the 2020/21 campaign without Willian as a result.
The Chelsea boss believes that the club have done everything in order to keep the player at Stamford Bridge, but an offer from Arsenal seems to have tempted him across the English capital.
If that ends up being the case, the Blues boss won’t hold a grudge.
“In terms of being disappointed, certainly as a club we have done everything we can to explain to Willian,” Lampard is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
“Mine and his relationship is very close and I would have no feeling of disappointment if he does move on. He is a fantastic man and a fantastic player.
“I think he will feel like that about Chelsea. I will leave him to say his own words. But I don’t want anyone to try to find a negative attitude.
“The club have acted very well in this as well. If he moves on I personally will wish him well. That is where we are at.
“I think he leaves a hole as a player who has been here for I think seven seasons, being part of successful teams. He has his own decisions to make. We as a club will always want to move forward, no matter what.
“Eden Hazard left last year, the club continues to work in a forward direction which I think we have in many ways. That remains the same, whatever player leaves the club.
“When a player is out of contract they have the freedom and the right to play wherever they want. We have to accept that and move on. I have no problems with that.”
Although Willian is the wrong side of 30, he’s still been an important player for Chelsea and his potential move elsewhere is bound to hurt.
The Stamford Bridge-based outfit are moving in the right direction under their former midfielder, but the loss of Willian does give Lampard a headache that he doesn’t really need.
On the flip side, it would free up a spot in the first-team and the manager will surely use that as motivation during pre-season training for the new season.