Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is obviously a fan of Chelsea star Willian. The Red Devils tried to sign the Brazilian last summer but failed. Although they managed to sign Willian’s teammate, Nemanja Matic, instead.
Willian has since been linked with a move to Manchester United again, and the Premier League giants may have been given a boost in their bid to sign the attacking midfielder. This is as the Brazilian international claims he has been left frustrated with the lack of regular playing time under Antonio Conte so far this season. Willian has only started six Premier League games under Conte in 2017-18 and his last start was in the EFL Cup win over Everton back in October.
Speaking to Football Focus, the player confirmed his desire to play regularly at Chelsea:
‘Of course I want to play every game, but I respect every decision because we have great players in the squad, so you have to respect Conte’s decision,’ he said. ‘But every player wants to play.’
He also went on to confirm he had contact with Manchester United over the summer:
‘I had contact with Manchester United but I was not close to leaving,’ Willian told UOL. ‘Of course, sometimes you get upset that you’re not playing. ‘But that doesn’t mean you do not like the club or the people who work there.’
This would suggest that Manchester United have a good chance of signing the player next summer, should they make the right offer to Chelsea. The Blues have also been linked with the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder Bernard, which could well mean that Conte is no longer considering Willian in his long-term plans at the club.
Willian himself seems to be open to the idea of leaving Stamford Bridge. If not, why did he hold talks with Manchester United last summer? The reduced playing time at Chelsea may have even increased his desire to seek pastures new. According to the Daily Star, Willian currently earns £110,000-a-week at the Premier League champions which would not be a problem for Manchester United to match or even increase.
Should United succeed in signing Willian, which I think they will if they are really interested in him, it will be interesting to find out what becomes of Anthony Martial at the club. I am a big fan of Martial but it seems Jose Mourinho is not, and I think he could end up selling him in the summer to make room for Willian.