Chelsea are considering whether to sell Willian after Barcelona made a renewed bid to land the Brazilian – but they are digging their heels in over Callum Hudson-Odoi and Bayern Munich’s quest to land him.
30-year-old Willian was unsettled last season under Antonio Conte, and Barca made numerous offers – which were rejected, but now they are back.
Barca have offered Brazilian Malcom – who they only signed from Bordeaux in the summer – as bait to try and tempt Chelsea, who are wondering whether to sell.
Coach Maurizio Sarri is a fan of Willian, and although he thinks he can improve – he says he does not want to lose him.
“He is really very important. I think that he can do better. He can do better because the potential is higher but he is really very important for us and it is impossible to lose him in January,” said Sarri.
Sarri, though, has digged his heels in over Hudson-Odoi, and he is not impressed with Bayern Munich’s continued pursuit of him.
Bayern have made four bids for 18-year-old winger and are set to return, and could include buy-back and first refusal options, but Sarri is not impressed.
“I think that it’s not professional because they are talking about a player under contract at Chelsea,” he said.
“They didn’t respect our club, I think. I don’t know what to say, I do not know the situation. I am very, very happy with the player because the player is improving.”
Bayern have also confirmed they want him, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said: “All I can say about Callum Hudson-Odoi is that I think he’s a good player and he’s a player who we have a great interest in. Anything else, we will see.
“In my opinion, he’s a player who would fit in well at our club. He’s got unbelievable qualities. He’s good at dribbling and has pace. In my opinion, he’s a player we would definitely like to have. Let’s see what happens. “
And former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben has encouraged Hudson-Odoi to take the chance and leave.
“He is one of the best (young players) in Europe. You are better off getting your chance and if you get that chance then you have to take it,” he said.
Bookmakers believe there is a real chance that both William and Hudson-Odoi could leave.
Willian is 2/1 with Ladbrokes to make the move to Barcelona.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “It’s looking increasingly likely Willian will be a Barcelona player come close of play this month.”
Hudson-Odoi remains odds-on to make the move to Bayern with Betway listing him at 4/11 to seal the deal.
Betway’s Alan Alger said: “Bayern Munich have made no secret of their desire to lure Callum Hudson-Odoi to Germany in January and the odds suggest the move could be on the cards sooner rather than later.
“The Chelsea academy graduate is now just 4/5 to join the German champions during this transfer window, with a stay at Stamford Bridge priced at even-money.
“If the Blues manage to hold onto the 18-year-old in January, it still looks as if he’ll be a Bayern player in the summer with a move to Allianz Arena available at just 4/11.”