Barcelona’s strange obsession with Willian has not dimmed since the summer and they are set to renew their interest in the Chelsea winger with a fresh cash-plus-player bid.
Chelsea rejected three bids from Barcelona for Willian last summer, the biggest of which was believed to be in excess of £55m. The Brazilian has featured in all but one of the Blues’ Premier League games under Maurizio Sarri, though he has not had the best of seasons.
Barcelona will reportedly offer £50m plus Malcom. The Brazilian striker was signed from Bordeaux for £38m last summer but has made just nine appearances at the Nou Camp and only one start in La Liga.
It has been reported that Ernesto Valverde was not consulted about the signing of Malcom and has no interest in trying to give him more time on the pitch.
Sarri would not want to lose an attacking player from a squad which is already light in that department, but by including Malcom in the offer Barcelona may be able to force Chelsea‘s hand.
£50m plus a 21-year-old forward seems like a bizarrely generous bid for an ageing player who is out of contract in 18 months, but Valverde clearly has his heart set on adding Willian to his squad.
Selling Willian would also make it easier for Chelsea to reject any offers for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is keen to join Bayern Munich after finding his first team opportunities limited under Sarri.