Why Willian was not in Chelsea squad to face Arsenal in FA Cup final with week left on contract

Willian was not part of Chelsea’s squad for today’s FA Cup final against Arsenal at Wembley because of injury, the Brazilian attacker has said.

Despite Frank Lampard indicating on Friday that the right winger had shaken off the minor leg issue that kept him out of last Sunday’s 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge, a result that sealed Chelsea’s place in the top four, he was not named in the matchday squad at Wembley.

It raises the prospect of Willian having already played his final game for the club. His contract runs out immediately after next Saturday’s Champions League round of 16 second leg away to Bayern Munich and there has been no progress on talks over a new deal.

Speaking to the club’s in-house media channel, Willian said: “It’s unfortunate that I can not be there.”

While Lampard has been keen to retain one his most senior players, Willian demanded a three-year contract and the club were only willing to offer a shorter deal.

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A standoff developed and his agent Kia Joorabchian has since confirmed that several other clubs are interested in hiring him as a free agent.

Arsenal are among those to have been linked with the 31-year-old but he also has interest from MLS and elsewhere across Europe, his representative has claimed.

Chelsea, with an unchanged XI from the side that faced Wolves, have taken an early lead at Wembley through Christian Pulisic and you can follow all the action in our unrivalled live blog right here