By the time his acrimonious divorce from Chelsea was finally sealed in December 2015, it appeared that Jose Mourinho had burned bridges with many of his players, but not all it seems.
Nearly six months on Mourinho is set to be unveiled as Louis van Gaal’s successor at Manchester United, barring a minor miracle.
As sure as night follows day, speculation has exploded linking the two-time Chelsea boss with a raft of high profile players who could potentially aid his Old Trafford rebuilding project.
One of those is Chelsea’s Brazilian forward Willian. If loyalty to Mourinho could be measured in performances alone, then Willian was arguably his most devoted servant.
A rare breed in the Stamford Bridge dressing room earlier in the season, the former Shakhtar Donetsk man seemed oblivious to the war raging off the pitch and played his heart out, to great effect, week in week out.
His exploits rightly earned him both the fans’ and players’ Player of the Season awards at the Bridge.
What a bitter pill it would be for Chelsea to swallow then, if the Brazilian could be persuaded to join Mourinho’s Man United project this summer.
Willian’s latest comments certainly give a huge hint that this scenario is quite plausible, even for a rumoured £60m.
He said: “Jose is one of the most successful coaches in the world and Manchester United will be stronger with him as manager.
“I played some of my best football under Mourinho. He is a special coach and I have a great relationship with him.”
While this falls short of a come-and-get me plea, it will still give his former boss much encouragement he can be signed.
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