JOSE Mourinho expects Chelsea to sign Willian from under the noses of Tottenham.
Spurs appeared poised to announce a deal for the Anzhi Makhachkala forward after he completed a medical, but Chelsea have now hijacked the deal after making their long-standing interest known.
A deal was quickly agreed between the Blues and the Russian club – respective owners Roman Abramovich and Suleyman Kerimov are friends – and Willian has been keen to move to Stamford Bridge since first becoming aware of a potential switch to Chelsea two years ago.
“I think he’s already made his decision,” Mourinho said.
The self-styled ‘Special One’ nodded 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 it’s 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 and now Tottenham manager. It could also hinder the prospective sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Mourinho’s former club.
Mourinho understands the need for medicals before contracts being agreed, but also spoke of the danger of a deal being gazumped.
“The best thing to do is to do the medical in secret,” Mourinho added. “After that when you sign the contract with the club and the player, you say ‘done’.”
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.”