English Premiership

Willian: My head is at Chelsea

Willian (Getty Images)
Willian (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Willian hopes to stay at Chelsea as they enter a "new cycle" under Maurizio Sarri, after enduring a strained relationship with Antonio Conte last season.

The Brazil international, who helped his country reach the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals, has been heavily linked with Real Madrid and Manchester United during the current transfer window.

Willian played in all but two of the Blues' 38 Premier League games in 2017/18, although only 20 came as starts, which left him frustrated with the decisions made by Conte.

However, the 29-year-old winger remains committed to the west London club after having amicable talks with Sarri on his return to Stamford Bridge last week.

"I've always been clear about enjoying playing for Chelsea. I've never told [anyone] that I wanted to leave the club, but some situations that has happened with the other coach left me upset." he told reporters.

"But now it's a new cycle. I had a nice conversation with the new coach. I hope this can be a year of victory for us.

"My will is staying at the club, unless they want to sell me. We never know, but I've always been clear about my wish of staying here.

"My head is here at Chelsea but we never know about tomorrow. I hope to remain at the club."

Willian came on as a second-half substitute in the Community Shield on Sunday, which saw Manchester City beat Sarri's side 2-0 courtesy of a Sergio Aguero brace at Wembley.

He is relishing the challenge of adapting to Sarri's philosophy, but admits it will take some time for all the players to gel with the new style.

"No doubt, it's a game style that we like, not just me but all the players," the Samba star added.

"So, we have everything to improve and keep working. At the beginning it's a little more difficult until we get the new style of the game and its changes. But we have it all to start well in the league."

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