Shakhtar Donetsk boss Mircea Lucescu has confirmed that Chelsea and Tottenham target Willian has decided to join Anzhi Makachkala, according to ESPN.
The report claims the Brazilian international has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League with both Chelsea and Tottenham credited with interest in recent months.
However, it seems the London duo have missed out on the talented midfielder after Anzhi made a deadline day swoop for the 24-year-old. Lucescu has confirmed the big-spending Russian’s triggered Willian’s release clause, which ESPN believe to be in the region of £35m, and the Shakhtar boss claims the player decided to make the move despite his best efforts to persuade him not to.
“There is a club willing to pay the release clause in his contract and Willian agreed to move. There is nothing I can do,”
“To tell you frankly, I tried to convince him to stay because I think his decision is hasty and not thought out well enough. He is like a son to me.
“He came to Shakhtar almost as a child and leaves us as a 24-year-old man. I told him he would have achieved more with us when we said goodbye. Why did he not listen to me? I guess he was under huge pressure from his agent and his relatives that wanted to get everything at once.” Lucescu is quoted as saying by ESPN
If true and Willian completes a move to Anzhi, he will link up with former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o, with Guus Hiddink’s side on course to secure the Russian Premier League title this season.
It’s certainly an intriguing move if it goes through. Willian is a great talent and seemed destined to move to one of Europe’s top clubs either in January or in the summer, so you’d have to question why he would move to Russia. Money is most likely a factor but it’s not like he wouldn’t get a very good deal elsewhere.
It seems to me Willian has ran out of patience and didn’t want to wait any longer to make his move. Either way, it’s a loss as it would have been great to have him in the Premier League. Maybe one day…
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