Manchester United eyeing Chelsea’s Willian to strengthen squad

Manchester United are reportedly readying a 25 million pounds January move for Chelsea's footballer Willian.

By: IANS | Manchester | Updated: November 25, 2016 4:47 pm
Chelsea v Leicester City - Barclays Premier League Willian was a major part of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea title winning team of 2014-15. (Source: Reuters)

Manchester United are reportedly readying a 25 million pounds ($31.1 million) January move for Chelsea’s footballer Willian as coach Jose Mourinho is willing to work with the Brazilian winger again.

Willian was a major part of Mourinho’s Chelsea title winning team of 2014-15, and was the club’s player of the year last season despite the club’s title defence crumbling. Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea midway last season after it became certain they won’t be able to defend their title.

But under new Chelsea coach Antonio Conte, Willian has found himself frozen out of the team since the Italian has switched to a new three-man defensive system, with Spaniard Pedro Rodiguez preferred in the wide flank role that the Brazilian normally occupies.

Mourinho rates the 28-year-old Willian highly, and believes his free running skills and pace could be a vital asset as he attempts to rebuild Manchester United, according to a report in the Daily Express on Thursday.

Mourinho is said to be prioritising his backline in the mid season transfer window in January and on his radar are Southampton pair Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk, Benfica’s young Swedish star Victor Lindelof and Bayer Leverkusen’s Austrian international Aleksandar Dragovic.

Mourinho has witnessed an inconsistent start to his career at Manchester United but insisted he needs time to make the impact he wants.

“The results are not good enough especially if you compare with the way the team is playing. I don’t think that when you are playing bad the future can be bright. But when you are playing well the future can be bright,” he said, as per the British publication.

“A big club with a big history obviously means people want big results. I’m in the beginning of my contract. I’m in the beginning of the process. So let’s go step by step.”

“If you ask me would I like to be successful in these three years, would I like to stay here for more time than these three years, then yes’ – because I am in the club that I want to be. So yes, I would love it,” the Portuguese added.

“But I have also to deserve that. Let us see the evolution of my results. And if one day the club thinks I deserve (a new contract) then I will be very happy and proud about that. I’m just in the beginning.”