Chelsea boss Frank Lampard to make Willian transfer decision as Barcelona circle
The winger has just one year left on his Chelsea deal – and Barcelona are keen to take him to Spain in a £30million deal.
The Brazilian, now 30, is yet to join up with Lampard’s Chelsea squad, after playing in Brazil’s Copa America-winning team this summer after a late call-up.
Chelsea are currently in Japan on the second leg of their pre-season tour, but Willian is not due to rejoin them until they return home next week.
Lampard needs the skilful but moody forward this season, with another match winner in Eden Hazard having departed for Real Madrid.
But the new Chelsea manager, whose side face Kawasaki Frontale in their third pre-season game, wants to see the Brazilian in training before a decision is made on his long-term future.
Chelsea have previously had a policy of not awarding players over 30 with more than one year deals.
But with the club now hamstrung by the two window FIFA transfer ban, Lampard has made it clear he is determined to keep his squad together.
Chelsea gave David Luiz a new two year deal in May, even though the defender is now 32.
Lampard said: “The transfer ban is here and it is a waste of my time to think about what should have been.
“It helps the focus. It is a blessing in disguise in the fact that I don’t have a stressful start of August in the transfer window.
“My job is to have absolute faith in the players and the week’s training we have had has shown me that. I have been impressed with their attitude and quality.
“With the squad that we have, we can be really competitive this season, I am sure.
“We’re giving everything to improve day by day.”
Willian joined Chelsea in a £30m deal from Anzhi Makhachkala in August 2013.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s young defender Ethan Ampadu is being targeted by Bundisliga clubs Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig for a season long loan move next term.