Willian has today added fuel to the fire regarding the possibility of him joining Manchester United this summer, by heaping praise on Red Devils’ boss Jose Mourinho, before revealing his desire to once again work with the Portuguese tactician.
29-year-old Brazilian winger Willian has been on the books of Chelsea since 2013, when he made the move to Stamford Bridge from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.
And the gifted South American has since gone on to establish himself as a key figure for the Blues, racking up well over 200 appearances across his 5 seasons in London.
This past season proved particularly fruitful for the former Shakhtar Donetsk man, with Willian having notched 13 goals and 12 assists in 55 outings across all competitions.
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However, despite the crucial role that the 62-time capped Selecao international has long filled for Chelsea, large sections of the club’s fanbase have never really taken to Willian, leading to annual rumours that he could seek pastures new.
This summer has seen Manchester United named as the most likely destination for the South American, with Red Devils’ boss Jose Mourinho said to be a huge fan of Willian’s talents.
The last couple of weeks, though, have seen a pair of new contenders, in the form of La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, emerge as surprise contenders for the Chelsea man.
The former were even rumoured to have seen a number of big-money offers rejected by Chelsea, though the Blaugrana have since instead secured a deal for prodigious youngster Malcom from Bordeaux.
And, after the reliable Simon Johnson of Standard Sport revealed last week that Manchester United are the ‘only possibility now’ for Willian if he does decide to depart Stamford Bridge this summer, the winger himself this evening fueled reports that he could make the move to Old Trafford during an interview with ESPN Brasil.
When drawn on the subject of Jose Mourinho, whom Willian worked under for two and a half years at Chelsea between 2013 and 2015, the Brazilian revealed that the United boss is the ‘best manager’ he has ever worked with, before confirming that the two remain in regular contact, and admitting that he would relish the chance to work with the Portuguese again:
‘Mourinho is the best manager I’ve ever worked with. We have a good relationship, we are friends.’
‘Sometimes we talk, we text, we send messages to each other via WhatsApp. He is a great manager, I really enjoyed working with him. I hope I can work with him again someday.’
‘I don’t know if there was any official bid [from Manchester United], but some things have happened.’
‘Also, everything comes out on the internet, too. But Mourinho talks to my agent all the time, he says ‘bring him, bring him.’
‘No, he has never called me, but he always sends me text messages.’
However, it is also important to note that Willian added the following, confirming his intention to remain with Chelsea:
‘But I am very happy at Chelsea, I want to stay in the club.’
‘I also like living in London, it is an amazing city, and my family is well adapted. So yeah, I intend to stay at Chelsea.’