No Real Madrid bid for Willian as passport issue delays Chelsea return

Willian Chelsea 2017-18Getty Images

Real Madrid have not made a bid for Willian and it is a passport issue that has delayed the Brazilian's return to Chelsea, Goal understands.

Indeed, the Blues and Willian have been in constant communication over the delay, with the club happy that the player has conducted himself professionally over the absence that will see him miss the pre-season meeting with Arsenal.

The 29-year-old is due to arrive back in London on Wednesday and, while Liga giants Madrid are interested in signing the former Shakhtar Donetsk star, Goal understands that reports of an official bid that contributed to his delayed return are wide of the mark.

Manchester United are also reported to be keen on signing Willian, while Barcelona have seen previous attempts to purchase the Brazilian fall through.

Goal understands Barca made several offers for the winger but became frustrated over the Blues' £65 million ($85m) asking price before eventually deciding to turn their attentions to Malcom, whom they signed for an initial €41m ((£36.5m/$48m) .

Regardless of the rumours surrounding Willian's future, he is expected to return to training in the next couple of days, with the Blues facing Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday prior to their Premier League opener against Huddersfield Town on August 11.

N'Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Gary Cahill, meanwhile, all remain on holiday having been granted a three-week break following their respective World Cup commitments.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is one to have returned early, however, with FIFPro having expressed their concern that players are not taking appropriate time to recover before the new season gets underway.

Goal understands that Loftus-Cheek was in no way pressured to return to the club by Chelsea, although FIFPro identified 15 players that would fall into the category of not having taken enough holiday.

"Players are coming under too much pressure, caught between the needs of their clubs and their own personal well-being," the union said in a statement.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek England World Cup 2018

"While FIFPro understands the financial implications of the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League for clubs, the health of these players is being put at risk because of such a congested match schedule."

Kante and Hazard, who have been linked with PSG and Real Madrid respectively, are expected to remain at Chelsea this summer.

The futures of Courtois, Cahill and Giroud are in doubt, however, with the transfer window in England closing early on August 9.

Meanwhile, the Blues have held talks to sign Daniele Rugani from Juventus , although it would seem that AC Milan are in the box seat to land Gonzalo Higuain , despite interest from Maurizio Sarri's side.

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