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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 January 2019

Willian wants David Luiz to stay at Chelsea and is calm about his own future

Club have a policy of only awarding players over 30 one-year contract extensions

Chelsea's David Luiz, right, set up N'Golo Kante, left, to score in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace with a superb pass. EPA 
Chelsea's David Luiz, right, set up N'Golo Kante, left, to score in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace with a superb pass. EPA 

Willian believes Chelsea want to keep David Luiz, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has spoken of his desire for Brazil defender Luiz and midfield playmaker Cesc Fabregas, whose deal also runs out on June 30, to stay.

However, the club's established policy of one-year contracts for players aged over 30 is a stumbling block which may need to be overcome, Sarri has admitted.

Willian lauded the quality of Luiz after his compatriot created the decisive goal for N'Golo Kante in Sunday's win at Crystal Palace with a pass few defenders are capable of.

Willian said: "We have to see if they club will want him. I think they want [him]. For me, I want him to stay.

"David has a lot of quality to do these kind of passes."

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Sarri in early December said it would be very difficult to replace Luiz and Fabregas, who are both free to negotiate pre-contract agreements with foreign clubs from Tuesday.

But both players are 32 before the end of the season and want a longer deal than the one likely to be tabled by Chelsea.

Luiz is in his second spell at Chelsea, having had a two-year stint at Paris Sain- Germain, and has re-established himself in the first XI after falling out of favour under Antonio Conte last term.

Fabregas is understudy to Jorginho and has expressed his frustration. The Spain international has been linked with a move.

Willian's own contract expires in June 2020, at the same time as Eden Hazard's.

While there has been plenty of conjecture over Hazard's future, with the Belgian admitting his quandary over whether to pursue a "dream" move to Real Madrid, Willian is happy to bide his time.

The 30-year-old winger joined from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013 and signed a four-year contract in 2016. He had been expected to leave if Antonio Conte had stayed as manager, but under Sarri Willian is relaxed about his future.

He said: "I'm fine. No rush about that. We can talk about that in the future, no problem."

Chelsea play Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, seeking to start 2019 with a victory after responding from the loss to Leicester City in their last home match of 2018 with wins at Watford and Palace.

Willian added: "We have to get points. We want to stay there at the top. We have to win games."

Palace, meanwhile, play Wolves, with striker Connor Wickham eager to offer a different option.

A serious knee injury led to a two-year absence for Wickham, who came off the substitutes' bench against Chelsea, to provide an attacking focal point for Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend to play off.

"I bring a different element to the game," Wickham said.

"Wilf and Andros are lightning quick and they'll cause any defence in the league problems. I'm a different kind of threat to them.

"We've got ammunition. We've got great players in every position. If we can utilise ourselves and adapt to who is on the pitch we'll become a better team."

Palace are near to signing Dominic Solanke on loan from Liverpool, which could limit Wickham's chances under manager Roy Hodgson.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Bournemouth take on Watford, bottom-club Huddersfield Town will look to avoid an eight-straight league defeat when they host Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion travel to West Ham United.

Updated: January 2, 2019 08:07 AM

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