Chelsea transfer news: Willian clarifies future amid Barcelona interest

The Brazil playmaker has been linked with a £50million switch to Spain this month

Matt McGeehan
Sunday 13 January 2019 11:09
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January transfer window 2019: Premier League transfer round-up

Willian dismissed the prospect of a January move from Chelsea after his strike earned a 2-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday.

The Brazil playmaker, who joined from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013, was linked with a £50million switch to Barcelona earlier this week.

Blues head coach Maurizio Sarri on Friday insisted it was "impossible" to lose Willian.

And the 30-year-old showed his value to Chelsea by scoring the goal which has given the Blues a six-point cushion over fifth-placed Arsenal in the race for Champions League qualification.

"My future is at Chelsea," Willian said.

Sarri afterwards repeated his view on Willian, who has 18 months remaining on his current contract, but Chelsea could be busy in the winter transfer window, nonetheless.

Cesc Fabregas completed his move to Monaco on Friday and Sarri wants a replacement but is uncertain if, or when, a new recruit will arrive.

Cagliari's Nicolo Barella and Leandro Paredes of Zenit St Petersburg have been linked with moves to Chelsea.

Sarri's need was emphasised against Newcastle as Jorginho struggled to dictate play.

The Italian said: "Today Jorginho was in trouble and on the bench there wasn't a player for that position. I need an option for Jorginho."

Chelsea took the lead after nine minutes, through Pedro, but Newcastle responded and deservedly equalised five minutes before half-time through Ciaran Clark.

Sarri again bemoaned his side's mentality - a frequent complaint this season - for apparently being complacent after Pedro's opener.

Willian helped Chelsea to a win over Newcastle

The 60-year-old added: "After the goal I think we thought 'now it's easy', but it wasn't.

"We slept for 20, 25 minutes, so at the end of the first half we were in trouble. We need to improve in the mental reaction."

Eden Hazard again started as a 'false nine', with Olivier Giroud on the substitutes' bench and Alvaro Morata again left out, amid reports the Spain striker could leave.

Sarri, though, pointed to the importance of wingers, including Callum Hudson-Odoi - the 18-year-old who has been repeatedly linked with Bayern Munich - rather than the need for a striker.

Sarri added: "With Eden as a striker we need wingers. So we need Pedro. We need Odoi. We need Willian, of course."

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