After an underwhelming first season at Barcelona, the Catalans looked for Dembele’s replacement after the 2018 World Cup.
One of the primary targets for Valverde and Barcelona was Chelsea’s winger, Willian.
The Brazilian winger impressed the Catalans in the Round of 16 of the Champions League in 2018.
“The only real official offer I had came from Barcelona, last year, after the World Cup,” Willian told DAZN, as quoted by Goal.
“Barcelona indeed presented an offer to Chelsea but it was rejected.
“That was the only actual time I had to discuss something like this with my family, although we really love it here (London).
“So there were several factors that helped us in staying.”
— Willian (@willianborges88) November 6, 2019
Willian hit the post two times versus the Catalans. Chelsea were knocked out by Messi’s brilliance which saw Valverde’s men go through.