Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says he is “very confident” Willian will remain at the club but is less certain about the future of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Manchester United and Barcelona have been linked with a summer move for Willian, who arrived back late for pre-season training due to apparent passport issues following the World Cup.
Sarri admitted he was unhappy with the Brazil international’s delayed arrival but is confident of retaining the winger for the start of the new season.
“I spoke yesterday with him about him being late, but not about his future,” said Sarri. “It was a very positive conversation. I am happy about it. There is not a problem with Willian.”
When asked if he was confident Willian would remain at Stamford Bridge, Sarri added: “Yes. Very confident.”
Upgrade to Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Football now for just £18 a month. Cancel any time. While Sarri is confident of keeping Willian, the Italian is less sure about Courtois, who has been heavily linked with European champions Real Madrid.
“At the moment Courtois is the goalkeeper at Chelsea,” said Sarri. “I don’t know in the future. It depends on the club, it depends especially on him but I hope Courtois will be our goalkeeper.”
Chelsea face Premier League champions Manchester City for the Community Shield on Sunday and Sarri admits his side will be underdogs at Wembley.
“The match will be very difficult for us,” he said. “I want to win because it is important to have an immediate trophy.
“But at this moment of the season, the performance is the most important thing. We have to improve of course. I hope to see from my team another step forward.”
Sarri added: “I think he [Pep Guardiola] is the best coach in the world right now, or one of the best. “The match is very difficult for one reason. They have worked together for two years and we started two weeks and a half ago.”
Pedro pens new deal at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea forward Pedro has signed a one-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2020. The 31-year-old signed from Barcelona in the summer of 2015 and has scored 28 goals from 131 appearances for the Blues.
The Spain international helped Chelsea win the Premier League in 2017 under former head coach Antonio Conte, providing 13 league goals and 12 assists, and played a key role in their FA Cup victory last season.
He told the club’s official website: “It is very good for me, I am really happy here in the club, with my team-mates, the supporters and the club in general. “It’s important for me to continue with Chelsea, I am comfortable here and want to win new titles and trophies. “I want to help the team, score goals, and I repeat, I am really happy.”
Club director Marina Granovskaia said: “We are very happy to secure Pedro’s services for another year. “Since becoming a Chelsea player he has regularly demonstrated his quality on the field and we look forward to seeing him continue to flourish under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri.”
Pedro, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a forward or a winger for Premier League club Chelsea and the Spain national team.
Pedro scored 99 goals in 320 appearances across all competitions for Barcelona from 2008 to 2015, winning 20 major honours including five La Liga titles and the UEFA Champions League three times. During the 2009–10 season, he became the first player in history to score in six different official club competitions in one season.
Pedro represented Spain in two World Cups and two European Championships, winning once in each tournament.