Frank Lampard says he will respect any decision Chelsea winger Willian makes on his future, but insists his side must “look forward” if the Brazilian leaves.
Willian is nearing the end of his contract with the Blues after a trophy-laden seven-year spell in west London.
The 31-year-old has previously outlined the contractual conflict between himself and Chelsea. The winger wants another three-year deal, with Chelsea only willing to offer two years.
Reports on Monday afternoon claimed Wilian had in fact rejected their third and final offer to the player.
Chelsea’s season looks likely to end on Saturday when they face Bayern Munich in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie. The Blues are 3-0 down from the first leg.
Now, Lampard says remains uncertain over what Willian’s plans are, amid reported interest from Arsenal.
“I’ve got a great relationship with Willian. I actually don’t know what that decision [contract situation] is,” the manager said (via the Daily Mirror).
“If that happens over the next few days, as he said, that will be good to me in either way.
“Of course I’m very happy with Willian. He’s been brilliant with me this season with input and work ethic within the squad. But it is his choice and I respect his choice.
“He’s been a great servant for Chelsea if he decides to move on and if he does decide to move on, Chelsea obviously moves on as well. We have to look forward ourselves.”
CHELSEA ALREADY LOOKING FORWARD
Chelsea have already begun to look forward by signing Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. The attacking pair will provide a further exciting dimension going forward in an attack already bustling with talent.
Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham have both shown talent this season, although the former suffered a hamstring injury in Saturday’s FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.
What’s more, Lampard reportedly has plans to bolster his midfield by signing Kai Havertz. The Bayer Leverkusen star, 21, has emerged as one of Europe’s top talents this term.