Frank Lampard reveals Chelsea have done all they can to convince Willian to stay as he closes in on joining Arsenal.
The Brazilian winger will be out of contract once Chelsea’s campaign comes to a close, which could be after the clash against Bayern Munich on Saturday with the German side 3-0 ahead from the first leg.
Willian turned down the offer of a two-year contract from Chelsea months, holding out for a three-year deal.
“He is injured and was injured for the cup final and tomorrow, he would have given everything to play in those games,” said Lampard. “I know Willian well, I have seen him and he has carried this injury a little bit in the latter part of restart.
“Certainly as a club we have done everything we can to explain to Willian. Mine and his relationship is really close, and I would have no feeling of disappointment if he did move on. I’ve played with him, coached him, he is a fantastic man and a fantastic player.
“I think he will feel like that about Chelsea, I’ll leave him to say his own words, but I don’t want anyone to find a negative attitude in this because the club have acted very well in this as well. I don’t have the answer, if he moves on, I personally would wish him well and that is kind of where are at now.”
Willian has more than 300 appearances and won five major honours with Chelsea, and he has been a key component of Lampard’s squad.
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“I think he leaves a hole as in a player who has been here seven seasons and performed and been part of successful teams,” said Lampard.
“When I came in this year and we had a lot of issues in terms of younger players, players back from loan – a transitional group – Willian was one you looked at and relied on in terms of experience and quality, he has shown me that all year.
“He has his own decisions to make and we as a club will always want to move forward no matter what. Eden Hazard left last year, the clubs continues.
“You try and continue in a forward direction, which I believe we have in many ways, that remains the same whatever player leaves the club.”