Willian deal ‘a priority’ for Fulham boss Silva

Fulham boss Marco Silva says tying down Willian on a new contract before the start of next season has to be a priority for the club.

The 34-year-old former Chelsea and Arsenal winger has been a revelation for the Whites this season, having joined last summer after returning to London following an ill-fated return to Brazil to play for Corinthians.

“I definitely want him to stay,” Silva said. “He is a priority for us to renew.

“Of course he has been pleased with this season, like I have been with him, as we as a club have been with him.

“He has been an important part of our squad and I know that he is pleased and happy here.

“He feels really good. He knows that he has helped us but at the same time we have helped him to be at his best level again and enjoy football again and to be an important part of the squad like he has been.”

Some eyebrows were raised when Fulham signed the veteran in the summer.

But Silva said he was confident he could get his career back on track at Craven Cottage.

“He has been fantastic, he has been brilliant for us this season,” Silva said.

“It has been so, so good to see him perform at his level, home or away it does not matter.

“Sometimes like in the last match against Liverpool he did not have the ball so much, but the way he has an impact on some moments of the match, creating some dangerous moments, one of our biggest chances for us, on the counter-attack.

“He is a top player, a class player. We are pleased to have him with us.

“Every single day he works so hard to perform at that level and it is really important in every match to have him at his best level because we are stronger with him.”