Exclusive: Chelsea close to clinching £34million deal
By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Willian is close to agreeing a new £34.3million Chelsea contract, Football Insider sources understand.
The midfielder is ready to commit to a deal that will lift his salary to £120,000-a-week and run until 2021.
Willian’s current £80,000-a-week agreement has two-and-a-half years and he is in advanced talks with the Premier League champions about an extension.
Talks have been taking place for months about an extension and all parties are now confident that an agreement is nearly in place.
The Brazilian midfielder is expected to become the third senior Blues player to commit to fresh terms in a short period following Gary Cahill and Ramires.
Chelsea announced earlier this month that Cahill had signed a new agreement running until 2019, while Ramires put to paper on a five-year deal last month.
A Chelsea source has told Football Insider they are hopeful of having an agreement with Willian in place within weeks.
Willian is Chelsea’s leading scorer this season with seven goals and has been the most consistently impressive player for the club during what has been a mostly wretched campaign.
He had been fighting for his place in the team following the summer signing of Pedro but the Brazilian has started 21 of the club’s 24 Premier League and Champions League matches to establish himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet.
Speaking last week, Willian revealed his delight at choosing to sign for Chelsea over Tottenham in the summer of 2013 following a last-minute change of heart.
“I don’t know how I can explain that moment,” Willian said when asked to recall the day he completed his £32million move from Russia side Anzhi Makhachkala.
“But I think it was the best moment in my life when I signed with Chelsea because it was my dream to come here, so when I came I was very happy to play for Chelsea and to win titles here.”
Willian has particularly caught the eye with his set-piece deliveries, scoring six free-kicks.
He is set to be part of the Chelsea squad that hosts Watford in the Premier League on Boxing Day as Guus Hiddink’s team attempt to climb from their lowly 15th place in the table.