Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has this evening provided an update on the future of soon-to-be out-of-contract attacker Willian.
Expiring Chelsea deal
Willian’s future has remained up in the air for some time now.
The 31-year-old, who has been plying his trade at Stamford Bridge since 2013, has just weeks remaining on his current Chelsea deal.
The Blues are thought to have made repeated efforts to tie Willian down to fresh terms, but, to this point, the former Shakhtar Donetsk man has stood firm in demanding a contract through to 2024.
Willian in demand
As such, though an agreement over a short-term extension for the remainder of the COVID-19-hit campaign was found, a subsequent divorce has long looked on the cards.
A host of clubs have been touted as potential destinations for Willian ahead of next season, with the experienced Brazilian international, as things stand, set to be available as a free agent.
Arsenal and Tottenham have both been named as interested parties, with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich also thought to be keen:
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) March 10, 2020
Barcelona, meanwhile, are known to be long-term suitors.
‘Want him to stay’
As outlined above, though, if the latest comments on the part of Frank Lampard are anything to go by, then, somewhat surprisingly, all hope of Willian remaining at Stamford Bridge does not yet appear to be lost.
Speaking in a press conference this evening, the Chelsea boss was drawn on the topic of Willian’s future.
The Brazilian has been in fine form of late, having notched 5 goals and 2 assists in his last 6 appearances across all competitions, including a brace versus West Ham on Wednesday.
And Lampard evidently remains hopeful of such exploits continuing beyond the end of the current campaign, with the English tactician having explained:
‘I haven’t given up hope on it (Willian’s new contract). The club are still in discussions with him. We want him to stay at the club, but I also appreciate this contract for him is a big deal because of his age and where he’s at.’
‘I’ve been there before myself, and I respect that. The way he’s playing at the minute, he’s shown his worth to the squad.’
‘It’s something I hope we can get to, whatever way with Willian, he’s been a great servant to the club, if we can get it I’ll be happy, but if not I’ll certainly wish him well because I’ve got a lot of time for him. It’s ongoing, in short.’
“We want him to stay at the club, but I also appreciate this contract for him is a big deal because of his age and where he’s at.”
Where will Willian be playing his football next season? 🗨👇
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 3, 2020