Will Isco's new contract accelerate Chelsea's interest in Willian?

The Malaga midfielder has signed a new deal at the Spanish clubs that will see his buy out fee rise to just under £30 million, and Chelsea might now view Willian as a better option.

Having made an early entrance into the transfer market to sign Demba Ba from Newcastle, Chelsea have been quiet since then despite continuing to struggle on the pitch. Rumours that they were looking to add another attacking midfielder seemed to be confirmed as they almost signed Taison from Metalist, but the Brazilian player ended up going to Shakhtar Donetsk, and the question then was whether Chelsea would go in for another player this month.

They have been rumoured to be interested in Isco for some time, and given that the Spanish playmaker is one of the most highly rated youngsters in Europe, Chelsea will not have been the only club to have been disappointed when he signed a new deal at Malaga.

Isco was always likely to stay in Spain until the summer, but with his price tag now likely to be at around £30 million, Chelsea might consider going back in for another long term target instead. Willian is not only likely to be substantially cheaper than Isco, at around £20 million, he has also made it abundantly clear he wants to leave the Ukraine in order to try and force his way into the Brazil national side, with Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur amongst his preferred destinations.

Whilst a move for Isco was always going to be at the end of the season, it makes more sense to try and sign Willian this January, when there will likely be less competition and so they can use the Brazilian in the second half of the season. His price tag is unlikely to drop by the summer, especially with Shakhtar impressing in the Champions League, and his desire to move as soon as possible removes one of the most common impediments to big January transfers.

Chelsea are not short of options in their attacking midfield, even if Eden Hazard's ban for kicking out at a ball boy during the Capital One Cup semi-final is extended beyond three matches. But Willian would clearly still improve the side, and he could make a real difference to their campaign if he arrived in the next few days. Even if they wait until the summer, Willian now looks a more likely option than Isco, and Chelsea might be amongst several clubs wondering if they should have made their move for the Malaga player before he signed his new contract.

image: © jbl767

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch