Willian has stated that he is happy to remain a Chelsea player, after snubbing interest from Jose Mourinho and Manchester United to sign a new four-year deal with the club.
The Brazilian midfielder is optimistic about life under new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte ahead of the upcoming season and sees good things ahead under the Italian.
Mourinho worked with Willian at Chelsea for two-and-a-half years, having signed him for the club in a £32 million deal from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013. The two endured majorly contrasting seasons last year, as the Portugese was sacked as manager, whereas Willian was one of the few bright sparks in a torrid campaign for the Blues, going on to win the club’s player of the year award.
After a summer of speculation, the self proclaimed “Special One” took over the reins at Manchester United after Louis van Gaal was sacked, and was then reported to be keen on snatching Willian away from his former club.
Willian rejected the offer, however, instead opting to sign a new four-year contract with his current employers, and has no regrets about his decision to stay at Stamford Bridge.
“I have a great relationship with Jose, but I am Chelsea,” the 28-year-old said. “Of course, when someone like him is interested in you, you are happy.
“But I signed the contract because I like being a Chelsea player and I see good things here. I signed a new contract and that shows how much I want to stay here. But the simple thing is that I want to win titles.
“To win titles you have to improve and if we can do that then we have a great chance to win titles this season. We have the players to do this – and the manager.”
Despite his positivity, Willian knows that to get anywhere close to silverware in the upcoming season, there has to be a dramatic improvement from the performances of last year. Chelsea haven’t had the best pre-season either, and after a 3-2 loss to Atletico Madrid, the midfielder admitted that there is still a lot of work to be done in order to get Chelsea back to the position of title contenders.
“The game against Madrid was disappointing,” he added. “We must work hard and when we have the ball then we have to play good football.
“This season can’t just be about defence, defence, defence. We have to play good football and attack.”