'My future is at Chelsea' - Willian dismisses exit speculation

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The Brazilian has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, but insists he remains committed to his current club

Willian has clarified his Chelsea future after his winning goal helped the Blues to a 2-1 win over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The Brazilian struck shortly after half time to restore Chelsea’s lead after Ciaran Clarke’s goal had cancelled out Pedro’s opener.

The result helped Chelsea to tighten their grip on fourth place in the Premier League, and afterwards Willian was at pains to reassure fans that he sees his future in west London amidst speculation he could leave in January.

“My future is here,” said the 30 year-old. “I have one-and-a-half years on my contract left, and I want to stay until it is finished.

“I don’t know if the club want me to sign a new contract, but my focus is here. I would like a new contract. If they want it, I want it.

“I have been here for five-and-a-half years, won a lot of titles. I am very happy.”

Maurizio Sarri’s side have a six-point lead over both Arsenal and Manchester United, their closest challengers for a Champions League place next season.

The Blues were seemingly coasting towards a top-four finish in December before United revitalised their season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho and his replacement with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

They look likely to be Chelsea’s closest challengers after Arsenal continued to stutter with a 1-0 defeat at West Ham on Saturday.

Willian joined the club from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013 and has since won two Premier League titles, the first under Mourinho in 2014-15 and later with Antonio Conte on the bench in 2016-17.

He emerged as one of the club’s most reliable performers during their catastrophic title defence in 2015-16, when a host of senior players seemingly rebelled against then-manager Mourinho who was sacked with the team in 16th place. The Brazilian received plaudits for his professionalism and consistency whilst the team floundered.

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“To play for Chelsea, you have to put your mind to winning titles every year,” said Willian.

 “We started the game well, and then the team goes down, and that was the problem.

“We have to solve that. If you are a team that wants to win something, you have to play for 90 minutes with concentration and focus.”

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