As per a report from James Olley of the Evening Standard, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is urging the club to tie Willian down to a new deal before the turn of the year.
31-year-old winger Willian has been on the books of Chelsea since 2013, when he made the move to Stamford Bridge from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.
And the gifted South American has since gone on to establish himself as a key contributor for the Blues, racking up over 300 appearances across his 6+ seasons in London.
The 2017/18 campaign proved particularly fruitful for the former Shakhtar Donetsk man, with Willian having notched 13 goals and 12 assists in 55 outings across all competitions.
The Lampard effect
However, despite the 70-time capped international’s near ever-present role for the capital outfit, large sections of Chelsea’s fanbase have never truly taken to Willian.
The Corinthians youth product’s inconsistencies last season, meanwhile, often saw him singled out for heavy criticism.
This subsequently saw Willian hotly-tipped for a move to Spanish giants Barcelona over the summer.
In the end, however, Chelsea warded off all interest in their attacker’s signature.
And the early months of the current campaign have since seen the Blues reap the benefits of their decision.
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 29: Willian of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on September 29, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Willian has looked vastly-improved, amid a consistent run of appearances under Frank Lampard.
The experienced wide-man has been handed a new lease of life by the club legend, looking reinvigorated, dangerous in front of goal and, crucially, fully committed to the Chelsea cause.
Lampard pressuring Chelsea board
Willian’s contract, though, is actually due to expire in less than 12 months’ time.
This has resulted in the speculation surrounding his future once again ramping up of late.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo last month suggested that the Brazilian is in ‘no hurry’ to pen a new deal at Stamford Bridge, with it his ‘dream’ to join Barcelona.
Hola, aquí os dejamos la portada de este lunes #portada #deporte https://t.co/1KnhxPK7Mq pic.twitter.com/5FVnrN6seV
— Mundo Deportivo (@mundodeportivo) November 17, 2019
One individual who certainly appears keen to have Willian commit his future to Chelsea, though, is Frank Lampard.
As per the aforementioned report from the Evening Standard:
‘Lampard is not directly involved in contract negotiations but offers his recommendations to director Marina Granovskaia, in addition to technical and performance director Petr Cech. In this case, he has told the pair he wants Willian to stay.’
The Blues boss is also said to be eager to have Willian’s future sorted before the turn of the year.
This is to rule out the possibility of the attacker reaching a pre-contract agreement with another club, ahead of a summer transfer.
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