In a questionable turn of events, Willian has failed to report back to Chelsea’s pre-season training after his extended World Cup break.
The Brazil star was afforded an extra week’s holiday after his national side reached the quarter-finals at Russia 2018. Due for a return on Friday, the wing wizard is yet to appear around the Cobham training facility.
The Times suggest that Willian has contacted the club to address his non-attendance, with reports of passport troubles being the reason he hasn’t returned to England yet. However, after a £65m bid from La Liga giants Real Madrid, not everybody is buying his justification.
A situation that eerily resembles the Diego Costa saga of twelve months previous, fans around SW6 have every right to start asking questions. When the Spanish international refused to return to training last summer, he was shipped off to Atletico Madrid for £57m in September.
Discussing his future on Brazilian television program Esporte Espetacular earlier this month, Willian commented: “I am very happy at Chelsea and I am very happy living in London.”
With Chelsea apparently holding out for £70m when Barcelona summoned up an interest, the Blues may have hoped their man’s status as a transfer target would’ve dissipated after La Blaugrana bought Malcom from Bordeaux.
Now with Los Blancos joining the race for Willian’s signature, the London club will need to fend of interest from the Spanish capital and that of Manchester United. Ex-coach Jose Mourinho is keeping tabs on developments and may now strike to snap up his previous player.
At 29 years of age, Chelsea may be tempted to let Willian move on. Real’s bid falls only £5m short of their evaluation, and would allow new coach Maurizio Sarri to bring in his own type of forward.