Chelsea winger Willian appears resigned to playing his football elsewhere next season after revealing the club found one of his contract demands to be ‘impossible’ to agree to.
The Brazilian, 31, is one of four Blues players set to see their contracts expire in the summer, along with fellow winger Pedro, Willy Caballero and Olivier Giroud.
Willian has been a capable and consistent performer during his time at Stamford Bridge, helping the club to lift two Premier League trophies in 2015 and 2017.
However, with a young core of rising forwards including Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic, along with the impending arrival of £37 million man Hakim Ziyech, the club have been reluctant to offer Willian a new long-term deal – much to boss Frank Lampard’s chagrin.
Now, speaking to Fox Sports’ Expediente Futebol show (via the Independent), Willian has admitted it is ‘unlikely’ he’ll be at Stamford Bridge next season.
“I’ve built something fantastic at Chelsea,” said the winger.
“I’m especially fond of the fans and the people that work there, and I’ve felt very settled.
“Everyone knows my contract is up in a few months and it looks like it’ll be difficult to secure an extension. I think it’s unlikely that I’ll renew, because Chelsea offered me a two-year deal, I asked for three and it ended there.
“There were no more talks or negotiations. Chelsea said that three years would be impossible, so at the moment it seems unlikely that I’ll extend, but nothing is impossible.
“We don’t know what might happen. We might suddenly reach an agreement, but what I can say today is that my contract is up and I’ll be free to negotiate with any club.
“At the moment I’m not thinking about going back to Brazil and my aim is to stay in Europe,” Willian added.
“I think there’s still scope for me to do that in the current market and continue playing at the top level for a few more years – my target is to remain in Europe.”
A surprise switch to London rivals Tottenham to link back up with Jose Mourinho has been touted, though Willian admitted that despite there being “plenty of speculation, there’s not been anything concrete”.
“The last negotiations that I had were with Chelsea. The only offer for me from Barcelona was in 2018 after the World Cup. Chelsea didn’t accept that year as they didn’t want to sell me.”