Reports: Barcelona plot shock move for Chelsea superstar as Neymar's replacement
What’s the story?
Barcelona are still reeling from the loss of Neymar, who moved to Paris Saint-Germain in a world record deal earlier in the month, and the Camp Nou outfit have been making waves in the transfer market with their pursuit of Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele.
However, the Blaugrana have so far failed in their attempts to land their two top targets and according to latest reports coming from France Football, the Camp Nou outfit are planning a shock move for the services of Chelsea winger Willian, who they consider to be a replacement for Neymar.
The Blues have a paper thin squad at the moment as they are undergoing a squad overhaul under Antonio Conte and it remains to be seen what the club's stance is on the future of the Brazilian.
In case you didn’t know…
Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the month in a move which shocked the entire world and made a €222m hole in the riches of the Parc des Princes outfit. The departure of one of the best players in the world has exposed many loopholes in the Barcelona squad, which were being masked because of the prolific front three that they had until this season.
Willian played a key role in Chelsea's title triumph last season, making 41 appearances for the Blues, while contributing with 12 goals and 5 assists.
The heart of the matter
The Camp Nou outfit are trying their best to recover from the loss of Neymar and have publicly expressed their interest in Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele. While Liverpool have maintained their stance that the Brazilian is not up for sale, Borussia Dortmund are willing to let go of their prized asset but only for the right price.
According to the report, Willian was partially interested in a move to Manchester United earlier in the window but a move failed to materialize and the Red Devils instead shifted their focus on Nemanja Matic.
Willian will not come cheap and expect a price tag north of £60m for his services, given that there is hardly any time left in the transfer window for Conte to find a suitable replacement.
Willian will be a good addition to the Barcelona squad, given the Brazilian's overall contribution to his team's play. He may not be on the same level as Neymar, or possess the same flair or trickery as his national teammate but he does have a few tricks up his sleeve and can also help out his team defensively, which won't hinder the balance of the team when Lionel Messi is afforded a free role.
Not only that, the Brazilian - like Neymar - is a threat from direct set-pieces, having scored numerous goals for Chelsea from free-kicks.