Barcelona are considering yet another move for Chelsea winger Willian as they look to add depth (or rather, depth that isn’t Malcom) to their wings.
The Spanish league leaders struggle for starters out wide beyond €100m+ signings Philippe Coutinho, who has been a huge disappointment since arriving, and Ousmane Dembele, who has not – with The Telegraph reporting that the Blues veteran is in their sights once again.
Lionel Messi nominally starts on the right but isn’t a winger by any conventional definition of the word, leaving Barça short of real width. Willian has been considered a potential answer for Ernesto Valverde’s problems for some time and, with his contract running into its last 12 months, would be cheaper than a number of other options.
The Brazilian’s age – he turns 31 at the start of next season – means that Chelsea are unlikely to renew him for more than a further year, unless their appeal to defer a transfer ban this summer fails and forces them to alter their long-held principle of only giving players over the age of 30 single-year deals.
Willian’s arrival would mean the end of Malcom’s spell at Camp Nou, with a loan move for the Corinthians product most likely as the club look to get him playing regularly after a season warming the bench in Catalunya.
Having started just three league games all season, the 22-year-old has cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines, and would jump at a chance to get back playing regular minutes.
Willian, meanwhile, showed Valverde’s side glimpses of his talent last season at Stamford Bridge – toying with the Catalan side’s defence and scoring in a Champions League round of 16 first leg, while also hitting the post twice.
Barcelona have tried to sign him on at least one occasion in the past, offering a cash-plus-Malcom deal worth something around £55m.