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Manchester United believe that they can sign Willian this summer – reports

It has been suggested that Manchester United believe they can sign Willian from Chelsea this summer now that Brazil are out of the FIFA World Cup. Brazil lost 2-1 to Belgium in the second quarter-final match on Friday evening. It has been reported by The Sun that United manager Jose Mourinho has made the Brazilian his number one target this summer. United will have to compete with La Liga side Barcelona for the Brazilian with reports suggesting he could cost upwards of £60 million.

Last summer, Mourinho was interested in Willian but signing Nemanja Matic, a deal to take another Chelsea player was unlikely to happen. However, this summer, after Chelsea finished fifth in the Premier League, the lack of UEFA Champions League football, for the second time in three seasons, could be enough for Willian. Mourinho has already signed a Brazilian player in Fred this summer, he was in the Brazil squad for the World Cup but did not play a single minute of football in the tournament this summer.

Willian played 359 minutes in the five matches Brazil played in the tournament, assisting one goal and playing much better in the last few games than the ones at the start of the tournament in Russia. The 29-year-old has spent five years at Chelsea, winning the Premier League twice (2014/15 and 2016/17) and both the Emirates FA Cup (2017/18) and the Capital One Cup (2014/15). His success in England added to that in Ukraine shows his experience and reasons why both United and Barcelona are interested in him.

It is stated that Mourinho feels that Willian would add some edge to United’s attack. This would be the benefit of signing him ad he predominantly plays on the right-wing as either a right midfielder or a right forward. Last season, Willian made 53 appearances for Chelsea, 22 of those from the bench. He scored 13 goals, assisting eight more. To have a player like Willian playing for United, having the ability to be involved in 21 goals will be beneficial. His age may be seen as a problem but United need experience which could help Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong.

During his career, which started 12 years ago in a first team environment, Willian has played 515 matches, scoring 84 goals. 236 matches and 44 goals for Chelsea alone. Willian has played 62 times for Brazil since 2011, scoring eight goals. Willian is a strong dribbler, a good crosser of the ball, can deliver a key pass, can shoot from distance, can take set-pieces and direct free-kicks, which shows all the attributes that would be beneficial to United. The Old Trafford club has not had an experienced right-winger for years.

The fee for Willian could become high with Chelsea reportedly demanding around £70 million for the player, whose contract expires in the summer of 2020 after signing a new contract two years ago. Chelsea may not want to sell but with the turmoil surrounding the club at this time with Roman Abramovich encountering visa problems this summer plus the fact that the Stamford Bridge redevelopment plan has been sidelined for the foreseeable future.

There are also the problems relating to the management of the club with Antonio Conte still at the club amid reports that Maurizio Sarri could replace him this summer. The players, current manager, and the coaching staff may not know what will become of them with a month to go before the Premier League season officially starts with Chelsea having to take on Manchester City to contest the FA Community Shield a week before the season starts.

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.

Manchester United’s Willian chase shows Jose Mourinho’s attacking intent

Manchester United have been linked to Chelsea winger Willian once again as the 2017/18 season draws to a close. United need to sign a player to play on the right-wing, which will severely help their attacking play as, despite many players occupying this position this season, nothing seems to have worked for the long-term. Granted, United have many talented youth players who could earn this position in the future, but for now, it would be too much of a gamble.

United manager Jose Mourinho was interested in signing Willian last season but the club signed Nemanja Matic and Chelsea were not keen on losing two key players to a Premier League rival, something that have fallen short of this season, despite winning the Premier League at a canter last season. The race for a top-four finish, which was dented after the 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend could see some stars leave Stamford Bridge this summer.

It has been suggested by The Sun that Willian could sign for the Old Trafford club, which could spark the end of the road for Juan Mata. We have seen these reports before with Mata, especially when Mourinho became the manager and the Spaniard was tipped to be the first player to leave the Old Trafford club. This season, Mata is one of the players who has more often than not, when starting, been on in the winning team. Obviously, he is not going to be a long-term option at the club, neither is Willian, but in terms of attacking, a player like Willian is needed.

United signed Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading in the other direction but Sanchez has seldom played on the right-wing, most of the time playing on the left-wing, benching Anthony Martial, which has started speculation surrounding the Frenchman’s position at the Theatre of Dreams. Willian, 29, recently signed a contract which would keep him at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2020 and it was recently suggested that it could cost United around £60 million to sign the Brazilian.

Mourinho could be making some big changes at the Old Trafford club this summer in a bid to challenge runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City next season. Mata, who will turn 30 this month, has been a great signing after leaving Chelsea in January 2014 for £37.1 million, becoming David Moyes’ best signing of his short-lived career at the Old Trafford club. Mata has made 182 appearances so far, scoring 39 goals in all competitions. Mata recently saw his contract extended by the 12-month clause entered in his original contract and is eyeing more time at United:

“Once you are part of this club, your football career is not the same; it changes because this is one of the biggest clubs in football history. Every day I try to tell myself how lucky and how privileged I am, try to take advantage of every single training session, and try to see how important it is to be a Manchester United player.

“We have had so many new players during my four years, but now we know each other and understand each other better. We are creating a kind of stability that I believe is needed to build and to create a positive consistency in terms of getting results and getting trophies.”

Willian has had another good season at Chelsea, showing why Mourinho is a fan of his. The Brazilian has made 46 appearances for his club so far this season, scoring 13 goals and assisting another seven in all competitions. United have scored a lot of goals all over the pitch this season, but it is the creativity of the player, plus his goalscoring ability, as well as his assist rate which will benefit United. Offensively, Willian averages 1.6 shots per match, 1.4 key passes, 2.3 dribbles and is fouled at least 1.1 times per match, in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.

The Brazilian has five years of Premier League experience, which will help, and he has many strengths to his game, including; dribbling, crossing, long shots, taking set-pieces, direct free-kicks, key passes and holding onto the ball. Willian likes to dribble with the ball, likes to cross the ball, and he is a counter-attacking threat. This was shown in the recent 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford with the Brazilian opening the scoring from the counter, drifting in behind the defence and beating David De Gea.

Most United players would love to have a player like Willian on the team, rather than play again him. He has been a handful in the Premier League during his time at Chelsea, scoring 25 goals in the league, in 160 appearances, of which he has been a part of 95 victories and just 29 defeats for his side. Mourinho has been seeking a player to fill that right-wing void at the club. Looking at players already at United, the likes of Andreas Pereira could function there, as could Tahith Chong. Neither has vast Premier League experience and that could become a big gamble.

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.

Jose Mourinho interested in signing Chelsea star Willian this summer?

Willian is a player who has been linked to Manchester United before, funnily enough since Jose Mourinho took over as manager. The 28-year-old Brazilian is a player who might even thrive at the Theatre of Dreams with United’s attack running a little short this season after the injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic just over a week ago and the demise of Wayne Rooney, who is almost certainly a player who should look at his options in the summer. This season under Antonio Conte, Willian has failed to break through into Chelsea starting XI with the 3-4-3 formation running well at the Stamford Bridge club, with the Italian manager favouring Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses in the wing-back roles, with Willian coming off the bench at times. Willian has made 19 starts for Chelsea this season (13 in the Premier League, five in the FA Cup and one in the EFL Cup), he has also been involved off the bench 16 times, all in the Premier League. During his 35 appearances in all competitions, Willian has scored 10 goals, also assisting three more goals. The Brazilian has 54 shots on goal, 20 of those being on target.

What is being reported and by who?

The Sun started the recent rumours of a swoop for Willian during the week, with the rumours coming from ESPN writer Mark Ogden. United have done well under Mourinho this season with Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba joining the team. This coming summer will see Mourinho put a team together – one which should launch a title bid. This season is only a few of the draws at Old Trafford were turned into victories, United would have been challenging, maybe not for the title, but for a better-suited position in the league. Willian, an attacker and one who Mourinho has the confidence in, would be a good signing, providing this is not just a rumour to attract attention. Willian was subject to interest from the Chinese Super League in January, a move which was rebuffed with the player signing a four-year contract in July 2016. Jeremy Cross of The Daily Star also reported this rumour, going one better suggesting Willian could be the long-term replacement for Michael Carrick, which could maybe be a position Willian could play but would be a waste with his attacking ability on the ball, not to mention his pace. The Metro have also reported this rumour, citing ESPN as their source, which is more of the same. The Daily Mail, albeit briefly, report this too, suggesting that along with Willian, Nemanja Matic is a player who Mourinho holds an interest in too.

What type of player is Willian?

Willian is an attacking player, either able to play through the middle or on the wing. He has a strong work ethic, something which you can see every time he plays, whether it be from the start, middle of the end of the match. It is easy to see why he could be a target for Mourinho this summer as there are many players at Manchester United who do not offer the same work ethic as the 28-year-old Brazilian. This season, Willian has played a part in 30 Premier League matches, scoring seven goals. His shot accuracy is 43%, but he offers a bit more than your standard forward player. Willian has pace aplenty and bags of potential, despite his age. He can play on either wing or through the middle, even behind a striker. Many seem to think he could play a deeper role, which he may move into because of his age, but seeing what he can offer, may see that being wasted potential at this moment in time. Willian is a good passer, maintaining an 83% success rate in the league this season, averaging 17 metres each pass. He has also won more than half of his duels against opposition players (54%). Willian would fit into most Premier League teams, and beyond.

Likelihood of the transfer?

Right now, there are not exactly many credible sources suggesting this deal could happen. It seems that the daily newspapers have jumped on the bandwagon based on Mark Ogden’s reports for ESPN. Whilst Ogden is viewed as a trustworthy source of information, the lack of any other credible journalists having information would suggest that this may be more of an opinion rather than a fact – which is my opinion by the way. Willian would be a good signing for any Premier League club, linking him to Mourinho and Manchester United would be an obvious link, one that would gain a lot of traction within the media, as it seems to have done over the last week. United are in need of strong attacking players, preferably with Premier League experience, which is why he has been linked to the Old Trafford club. The fact he is not playing all the regularly, from the start of matches at least, is another reason. Perhaps the player is looking for a better contract, despite signing his last on inside the past year, or terms which will increase his role at Chelsea, starting more matches and proving to his new manager that he can rely on him.

copyright: JW