Chelsea mount late attempt to hijack Spurs’ Willian deal

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Depending on what you believe, Willian was apparently sitting in the Tottenham Hotspur training centre ready to confirm his move when Chelsea mounted their late bid to hijack the deal.

The Brazilian midfielder has been a long-term target for Andre Villas-Boas at both Spurs and Chelsea, and was meant to be part of the replacement for Madrid-bound Gareth Bale.

However, with their late bid Chelsea have raised the stakes, and Spurs might have to match both a higher transfer fee and higher wages to bring Willian to White Hart Lane, as well as hoping the lure of the Champions League is not too much to ignore.

Chelsea are current 4/6 favourites to sign Willian before the end of the transfer window, while Spurs are 6/4.

Spurs will need the creativity Willian brings to aid their own bid for Champions League qualification. They are priced at 11/8 to finish in the top four.

It is not surprising that other sides are interested in the 25-year-old, indeed Spurs gazumped Liverpool in their move for him, but it is odd that it is Chelsea who have made the move.

Mourinho’s side have a surfeit of excellent attacking midfielders, and the suggestion might be that someone would leave if Willian arrived, perhaps even the previously integral Juan Mata.

The Brazilian was superb for Shakhtar Donetsk against Chelsea in the Champions League last season, scoring twice as they lost 3-2 at Stamford Bridge and inspiring the side to a 2-1 win in the Ukraine.

There is no doubt he would improve the squad at Chelsea, but Willian would become a key player at Spurs, and they might hope that will help convince him to reject the Blues.

His existing relationship with Villas-Boas might also help, but given he will have the chance to compete in and for better competitions at Chelsea, as well as a higher pay packet, Spurs might have lost their chance to sign Willian.

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