Talks Take Place With Winger’s Representatives
Manchester United have held talks with representatives of Chelsea winger Willian over a possible summer move.
Willian has been linked with interest from United in recent weeks. Manager Jose Mourinho is known to be an admirer of the Brazilian and he tried to sign him shortly after he moved in to the Old Trafford hot seat in 2016. There was a fresh approach in 2017 but once again Chelsea wouldn’t entertain the prospect of a move and United turned their attentions to Inter Milan’s Croatia international Ivan Perisic.
It was Mourinho who signed Willian when he was manager at Stamford Bridge. That was in 2013 when the Blues paid Anzhi Makhachkala £28million.
Willian was an automatic first-team choice at Chelsea when Mourinho was in charge, but he fell down the pecking order after the Portugese boss was sacked in 2015.
The Brazil international – who will be on the plane to Russia with the rest of his country’s squad for next month’s World Cup finals – made 36 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in the season just ended. However, 16 of the 36 came as substitute appearances.
Willian turns 30 in August and that could have a bearing on whether United make a formal approach to Chelsea.
The west London side have missed out on Champions League football for the second time in three years and reports suggest there could be a sale of fringe players as the club try to avoid Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations. That sale is more likely to affect some of the many Chelsea players currently out on loan rather than players such as Willian who is still a first-team regular.
But talks with Willian’s representatives and talks with Chelsea aren’t the same thing. Much depends on the future of the west London side’s current boss Antonio Conte. He is expected to leave the club after this weekend’s FA Cup Final clash with Manchester United at Wembley. His successor may have a say in whether or not Willian stays.