Chelsea attaching midfielder Willian has insisted that he was never close to joining Manchester United in the summer transfer window.
The Brazilian forward was rumoured to be a top target of Man United boss Jose Mourinho. The pair worked together in Mourinho’s second spell at Stamford Bridge, in which he won the Premier League title on one occasion, in his second season in charge.
Willian was said to be unhappy at Chelsea in the summer, and United were just one of a number of clubs he was linked to. But with Antonio Conte being sacked as manager and replaced by ex-Napoli boss Mauricio Sarri, Willian says he was content to stay.
That’s despite the London club also being reported to be willing to sell Willian in order to fund the purchase of other players for Sarri’s new squad.
“I am very happy. Always I was happy at Chelsea,” Willian said.
“I don’t want to talk about the past.
“I am happy with the new manager and profile of football.
“I think we have a great team atmosphere and we can do everything to win titles.”
No one met Chelsea’s asking price for Willian. FC Barcelona were reported to be the closest to doing so with a £55 million offer. United apparently only ‘considered’’ an approach, according to the Express.
It sounds like Willian may have been keen to move had Conte stayed at Chelsea, but of course, Sarri has come in and changed the style of play already.
“I am very proud to stay and be a Chelsea player,” Willian continued.
“It is an honour to play at this club. I am very happy at Chelsea.
“Everyone knows what happened in the last window.
“My mind was always to play at Chelsea, now with Sarri we have a different way to play.
“He wants us to play. You can tell in the game, we play with more possession and have more fun and win five games in a row. We have to continue in the same way.”