Willian sends defiant message to Antonio Conte amid Man United transfer links

Chelsea midfielder Willian admits he is frustrated with his lack of game time this season, but insists he respects Antonio Conte’s decisions.

The Brazilian international has not started any of Chelsea’s last four Premier League matches and had to settle for a place on the bench in Saturday’s 4-0 win at West Brom.

Despite picking up the Chelsea Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year awards in 2015/16, the midfielder has since struggled to cement a place in Conte’s preferred 3-4-3 formation.

Speaking to Football Focus, the midfielder said: “Of course I want to play every game, but I respect every decision because we have great players in the squad, so you have to respect Conte’s decision. But every player wants to play.”

The 29-year-old has been linked with a January move to Manchester United, with Jose Mourinho reportedly keen to link up with his former player.

After failing with a bid for Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic in the summer, the Express report that Mourinho wants to sign Willian as he trusts the player and admires his work-ethic.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk winger admitted he held talks with Mourinho last summer before eventually deciding to try and fight for his Chelsea future.

“I had contact with Manchester United but I was not close to leaving,” Willian told UOL.

“Of course, sometimes you get upset that you’re not playing.

“But that doesn’t mean you do not like the club or the people who work there.”

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