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Manchester United looking to raid Chelsea again in the summer but it could be costly…

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho wants to sign Chelsea star Willian according to reports. The Brazilian has been in great form this season, even if Chelsea have not been in the best of form collectively. It was reported in the summer that United were after Willian but were only able to sign Nemanja Matic, who has been a pretty good signing for United. The 29-year-old Brazilian had literally no chance of leaving for United last summer, even if he had wanted to.

It is said that Mourinho has had his scouting team keep tabs on the former Shakhtar Donetsk winger more than a few times this season which could lead to the Old Trafford club making a swoop for the player, according to The Sun at least. The newspaper, not know for their reliability, use quotes from an alleged Old Trafford source, stating that Mourinho is still interested in Willian, a player he signed for the London club in the summer of 2013, a £30 million signing from Anzhi Makhachkala. The quote from the Old Trafford source stated:

“Jose [Mourinho] is still interested in him. The club had a sniff last year but Matic was the only possibility. He does not have long left on his contract. The boss is a huge fan of his, he is always full of praise.

“God knows where this leaves the rest of the wide players at the club but it cannot be good for them. He is a fantastic trainer with a great attitude towards his football according to Jose.”

Willian signed a five-year deal back in the summer of 2013, signing a contract renewal during the summer of 2016, which would keep him at the Stamford Bridge club until the summer of 2020. It was stated by the Brazilian earlier this month that he wanted to remain a Chelsea player, signing a new contract this summer, if Chelsea wanted to keep him at the club. This, at the time, was reported as a huge blow for Mourinho and United. What seems to have changed to bring this speculation forward again? Quoted just ten days ago, Willian said:

“My goal is to stay here at Chelsea. Unless Chelsea does not want me anymore – then you have to find another club. Staying here for many more years and if it’s possible to renew my contract. About this, we have not talked yet.

“It might happen – I’m adapted [to the club] – I’ve been here five years at the end of the season, I’ve won titles. I have the fans affection too. I intend to continue here until the end of my contract, to renew, to continue for more years.”

Perhaps the defeat for United against Sevilla at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening, which knocked them out of the UEFA Champions League at the round of 16 stage, is a reason for this speculation. The Sun know that supporters of the club are feeling down and these reports act as a ‘pick me up’ if you will. The report does state that Willian will sit down at Chelsea at the end of the season to negotiate a new contract, or rather his agent will do that with executives from the club.

It is unknown whether Chelsea will be willing to give him bumper terms on a new contract, with him pushing 30. It is also stated that if Chelsea were willing to sell him and the player was willing to sign for Mourinho, he could cost £60 million, which is a massive fee given his age. Other teams in the Premier League are reducing the average age of their squad, United will not be doing that. Willian is a talented player and perhaps is a player needed more than Alexis Sanchez, who arrived at the club during the January transfer window.

Willian is described as ‘fast, agile, hard-working and technically gifted’. He is also known for his ‘quick feet, acceleration, and explosive style of play’. One would question whether he would fit into the setup at United under Mourinho, especially after seeing the conservative approach to matches, especially ones which United needed to score in to win – like the 2-1 Sevilla defeat. United, despite having the attacking talent which would be fluid within many other teams, don’t seem to use players to their strengths under Mourinho, seemingly playing them to their weaknesses, which is wrong.

This season, Willian has played 43 times for Chelsea in all competitions (25 starts and 18 substitute appearances). The 29-year-old has scored 13 goals in all competitions, assisting a further seven goals. According to WhoScored, Willian averages 1.6 shots per game (in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League), which for a winger is not all that bad. He also averages at least 1.3 key passes in the same competitions, also 2.3 dribbles per match. His average rating, in the monitored matches, is 7.17. Willian predominantly played in the right-wing position.

It has been reported by Miguel Delaney in the Independent that Jose Mourinho is seeking as many as four key players in the summer, also allowing up to seven first teams players leave the club. It is said a central defensive player to partner Eric Bailly is one of the four key players, also a commanding central midfielder being the other. With United’s need for a right-winger clearly obvious, it does make me wonder is Willian could be a target for the summer. He is a player known to Mourinho, he signed him, and a player that will play to Mourinho’s strengths.

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