Chelsea should not miss chance to cash in on Barcelona target Willian

The news that Barcelona offered Chelsea a player-plus-cash deal worth £50million for Willian, and that it was swiftly turned down, left some in football flabbergasted.
So much so that it even prompted one online outlet to publish a feature, entitled: 'Twenty reasons why Chelsea are absolutely mad to continue rejecting bids for Willian.'
While that is a tad over the top, it is not entirely wrong. Chelsea should be asking Barcelona where to sign, with Malcom the winger they would receive in return.
Malcom is raw, but he is 21 years old. Willian is 30 and someone who has contributed zero goals and one assist in his last 10 Premier League appearances.
Manager Maurizio Sarri used his press conference this week to complain about his side's lack of goals, with Chelsea the only 'Big Six' club yet to score 40-plus.
He also said he wants Willian to stay, though the Brazilian is not the answer to their woes in front of goal. He works hard and runs plenty but rarely delivers an end product.
It was different when Chelsea drew 1-1 with Barcelona at Stamford Bridge last season. Willian stood out that night, striking the woodwork twice in the first half then scoring in the second.
In the return leg, Chelsea lost 3-0 at the Nou Camp but Willian was the away side's best player again. His strong runs and pace caused the Spaniards problems.
After hearing this week's news, some supporters joked Barcelona's scouts must only have watched those matches because he has produced little since.
One statistic circulated on social media over the last fortnight revealed Juan Mata and Willian had both assisted Eden Hazard four times in a Chelsea shirt. It added Mata left the club in 2014.
Still, Sarri clearly sees his value. Willian has played in 30 of the club's 32 matches this term – more than any other player – and so the Italian wants him to stick around.
That's his view, but the Chelsea board may differ if Barcelona come back with a bigger bid. This is a chance that may not come along again.
Willian is already 30, has 18 months left on his current contract and no talks over a new deal are planned to take place soon. The west London club also have their over-30 policy, too, meaning the most the Brazilian would receive is a one-year extension if the Blues felt like keeping him.
Malcom, 21 and a left-footer who likes playing on the right, has struggled to make a name for himself following his £36.5m move to Barcelona from Bordeaux.
Yet he has shown glimpses of his talent here and there, and has plenty of time to reach his potential.
When asked about Willian on Friday, Sarri gave the classic coach answer of 'ask the club'.
'I have no idea,' he said. 'You have to contact the club and ask about the market, because if you ask me about the market, you put me in trouble because I don't know how to answer.
'As you know, Willian for us is very important. I think he can do better, he can do better because of his potential but he is really very important to us, so I think it is impossible to lose him in January.'
Really, Chelsea should be making that possible.

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