New Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is "not happy" and plans to have a conversation with star attacker Willian after the Brazil international was delayed in his return to the club after the World Cup.
Willian’s future with the Blues has been in question this summer amid reported interest from Barcelona, Manchester United and Real Madrid, with Barca making several bids.
While Barcelona’s pursuit ended when the La Liga champions signed Malcom from Bordeaux for €41 million (£36.5m/$48m), Willian was delayed in rejoining Chelsea from his post World Cup vacation prompting speculation another bid had come in.
Goal understands that a passport issue, not a bid from Real Madrid, was the cause of the delay, but Sarri admitted frustration with the situation in his post-match news conference following Chelsea's defeat on penalties to London rivals Arsenal in the International Champions Cup.
“I want to speak to him before I answer these questions,” Sarri told reports on the Willian situation. “I want to speak to him. I am not happy about this situation but before I answer, I would like to speak to him.”
When asked if the matter was strange Sarri simply replied: “Yes.”
Willian is not the only Chelsea player who’s future is in doubt as the Premier League season approaches.
Eden Hazard has questioned his Chelsea future with links to Real Madrid persisting, while goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has repeatedly voiced a desire to be closer to his children, who live in Madrid.
Sarri offered no updates on the Chelsea futures of any of his stars, admitting he will meet with them for the first time this weekend.
“Not at this moment, no, because I will see them on Saturday for the first time,” Sarri said when asked about their status. “I don’t know the situation in this moment. There is no news.”
When asked if he wanted to keep all three players, Sarri made it clear that was the goal.
“We are talking about top players,” Sarri added. “Every club wants to keep their top players and we are trying to do it.”