Jose Mourinho confident Willian wants Chelsea move
Stamford Bridge boss rules out sale of Juan Mata but says somebody has to make way if Rooney bid succeeds
Jose Mourinho (right) is confident Willian is on his way to Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Tottenham Hotspur’s manager Andre Villas Boas and Gareth Bale. Photograph: PA Wire
Jose Mourinho expects Tottenham target Willian to sign for Chelsea.
Tottenham appeared poised to sign the Anzhi Makhachkala forward after he completed a medical, but Chelsea now appear to be in pole position for the deal.
“I think he’s already made his decision,” Mourinho said, before nodding in the affirmative when asked if that was Chelsea.
He added: “I don’t like to speak before time because football can be crazy. I know what the player wants, so in this moment we cannot hide. That is a possibility.”
Willian is still to undergo a medical at Stamford Bridge, but if he signs it strikes a blow for Mourinho over his former staff member Andre Villas-Boas, once of Chelsea’s backroom staff and now the Tottenham manager.
Mourinho understands the need for medicals before contracts being agreed, but also spoke of the danger of a deal being gazumped.
“That’s the danger of medicals before contracts,” said Mourinho. “You have to do the medical before, but the best thing to do is to do the medical in secret. If the player is fine, you can sign him. If the player is not fine you don’t destroy his career.”
Mourinho had insisted Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was his sole target, but revealed he had alternative options, too.
Willian is “an extra target”, said Mourinho, who plans a third bid for Rooney following Monday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
Mourinho added: “I couldn’t say much in previous press conferences. I have to answer your questions and try to be honest, but at the same time try to hide a few things. I’m happy with my squad, but every one of us managers, we say we are happy, but we are always unhappy.
“We always want something of more quality and we never close the door to the possibility of adding more quality.”
Mourinho anticipates departures, but only temporarily.
“If somebody’s coming, somebody will leave,” Mourinho said. “The point is not to sell. I want a 22-player squad. If somebody comes, somebody leaves. Do we need to sell? No, we don’t. Do we need to loan? Probably, yes. I don’t like to work with big squads. I think 22 is the perfect number to answer to our needs.”
Playmaker Juan Mata will not depart, he insists, despite reports he could be heading to Old Trafford as part of any Rooney deal.
“No, (it is) speculation. He’s a player we all like, he’s a player we all want to keep and we want more quality in the team, we don’t want less quality. We want to add quality. Juan is not a player we want to lose.”
The Willian move was unexpected as the one Anzhi player reported to have been on Mourinho’s radar was Samuel Eto’o, who played under the Portuguese at Inter Milan. Eto’o is possibly still an alternative target to Rooney. Chelsea have been told repeatedly that Rooney is not for sale, but still Mourinho is chasing his man.
“When you own a player, you have a contract with a player for a long time, even if the player wishes to leave - and sometimes that happens,” Mourinho said. “That contradiction happens. The player wants to leave, the club wants to keep (him). We (managers) have to make a decision one way or another way. We have to persuade the player to stay, or the player persuades us to sell.”
Asked how he rates Chelsea’s chances of signing Rooney, whom his side could face at Old Trafford on Monday, Mourinho said: “I don’t care. In this moment I don’t care. I have a big match to play on Monday. I don’t care about new players.”
He will not be too disheartened if Chelsea fail to recruit a striker before the September 2nd transfer deadline.
“(I will) not (be) disappointed, but we are going to try till the last day, to add more quality to the team, to add more options,” he said.
Brazil defender David Luiz is doubtful for Monday’s match and is still training alone following a hamstring injury. If Luiz misses the Old Trafford clash, he could feature for the Europa League winners in next Friday’s Uefa Super Cup encounter with European champions Bayern Munich in Prague.