Willian hints at rift with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte ahead of FA Cup final

Chelsea attacker Willian has hinted he is unhappy with his relationship with Antonio Conte on the eve of the Blues’ FA Cup final clash with Manchester United on Saturday.

The Brazilian, who was named Chelsea Players’ Player of the Season, has fallen out of favour with his manager, starting just one of the last five Premier League matches – a 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield.

Willian has been in and out of the Chelsea starting XI all season, starting only 20 times in the Premier League, and has been linked with a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

And now the 29-year-old has suggested that his relationship with Conte – who is likely to leave Stamford Bridge this summer – is under strain.

Asked how happy he is with the Italian boss, Willian told ESPN Brasil: ‘Oh boy! Do you really want me to tell you?’
Both Willian and the interviewer laughed, before continuing: ‘Well, some other… let’s save it for one next interview.’

Although Willian sidestepped the question, his cryptic answer suggested there was a degree of animosity between himself and the coach – something he may open up about further once Conte has departed.

Conte’s relationship with a number of key players is thought to be strained, with David Luiz having been alienated after a falling out while Eden Hazard is not thought to be particularly happy either.

Hazard and Willian revealed earlier this season that they wanted to play together more often, with Conte’s tactics at the time not allowing that, while the Brazilian stormed down the tunnel after being substituted in the semi-final of the FA Cup against Southampton.

Chelsea’s final opponents on Saturday, Manchester United, are believed to have held informal talks with Willian’s entourage about a summer move, with Mourinho still a keen admirer.

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