Man United expected to launch £50m bid for 29-year-old South American star

Chelsea are bracing themselves for an approach from Premier League rivals Manchester United for Willian, reports say.

Brazilian forward Willian, 29, cut an increasingly frustrated figure at Stamford Bridge last season and is said to have a strained relationship with manager Antonio Conte.

While Conte is set to leave the club – with Maurizio Sarri poised to take over – Willian is still being strongly linked with a departure during the summer transfer window.

On Friday, it was reported that Chelsea had rejected a £50million offer from Barcelona for Willian. According to the Daily Express, the Blues now expect United to make a similar move, with Jose Mourinho a known admirer of the Brazil international.

Despite developing into an influential figure for Chelsea, the west London club could be tempted to cash in if they receive an offer in excess of £50m.

Willian may want to decide his next move after speaking to Chelsea-bound Sarri, but he would be tempted by the prospect of a reunion with Mourinho.

The Daily Express add that Chelsea would prefer not to sell Willian to a direct rival, though, which could be seen as a major boost to Barcelona.

Willian has played over 200 games in all competitions for Chelsea, helping the club win two Premier League titles and the FA Cup. He featured in all three of Brazil’s World Cup group games as Tite’s side finished top of Group E to set up a last-16 clash with Mexico.

Commenting on his relationship with Blues boss Conte, Willian said earlier in the month: ‘I was happy with my performance during the season.

‘I played very well I always try to do my best and work hard. Sometimes to stay on the bench is difficult but I respect the decision of the manager. ‘I don’t have anything more to say about my club because now I want to have focus here on the national team and the World Cup.’