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Manchester United ‘increasingly encouraged’ in their pursuit for Willian

Manchester United are ‘increasingly encouraged’ that they will win the race for Chelsea forward Willian this summer. It has been well reported that the Old Trafford club are interested in the Brazilian, and indeed were last summer but the signing of Nemanja Matic scuppered United’s plans to sign Willian. United have been linked with the winger in recent weeks and with suggestions that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will cut his spending on the fallen London club, who failed to achieve UEFA Champions League football last season.

The Manchester Evening News has reported the suggestion that United are increasingly encouraged in their pursuit for the Brazilian this summer, despite it being suggested that Chelsea would not sell to a direct rival, especially after seeing Matic’s form for United last season, which was more of a regret for Chelsea than anything else. With the speculation suggesting Antonio Conte is likely to be sacked this summer with Maurizio Sarri tipped to replace him, balancing the books is something Chelsea may need to do in order to rebuild.

Chelsea emerged as Premier League big spenders in the early 2000s, breaking up the switch in tides between United and Arsenal to win the league title themselves. It seems that this is a thing of the past for Chelsea as plans for their new stadium rebuild have been placed on hold and the Russian oligarch is set to cap spending with just £50-60 million being made available this summer. This could mean that Chelsea will need to sell before they can buy with a number of stars linked with other clubs.

It is suggested that Willian could bring in around £50 million for the club this summer and with United’s interest in the player and the fact that Jose Mourinho needs to solve a problem with the right-wing position, an area that needed strengthening under Louis van Gaal, with Pedro linked to the club and United pulling out of the race with the Spaniard signing for Chelsea instead. United have tried many in the position, nothing seemingly working with the position a weak link in the squad.

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Gareth Bale, who set the ball rolling by suggesting that it was time to speak to his agent about his future, after coming on and inspiring Real Madrid to their fourth UEFA Champions League trophy in five years, seemingly not being all that pleased as to how former manager Zinedine Zidane treated him at the club. This saw United all ears and seeing Bale as the dream signing this summer, but we all know that won’t happen, no matter what any of the ITKs on Twitter have suggested. Willian is the more affordable option for United, an option that has more chance of happening.

Chelsea were Premier League champions a year ago, after coming back in style from a tenth-place finish the season Leicester City won the title. Chelsea did not have the fight to retain the title with Manchester City winning at a canter and United, despite the criticism they have received for not improving, finishing 11 points clear of Chelsea, despite finishing 24 points behind them the season before. If you look at it this way, United clawed back 35 points on Chelsea over the past season, which is a massive improvement.

If Mourinho can finally sign Willian, despite being another older player, he still has the ability and the creativity, not to mention the pace, to achieve something at the club. There are many younger players at United, who just do not have the experience to push the club into the final battle to lift the Premier League title. Experience is needed and now there seems to be little of that, especially when you look at the more experienced players at the club.

Mourinho has made two signings this summer in Fred and Diogo Dalot and is still seeking an experienced central defender, another midfielder, a forward and possible a new left-back. If United can get all of these positions filled this summer, the business will have been done off the pitch which would leave Mourinho better placed to push United in the direction of Manchester City in a bid to wrestle the Premier League title away from them, which will be the number one challenge in the new season.

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