By Chris Davie | Metro |
Willian has dropped a major hint that he would welcome a move to Manchester United after admitting he has a ‘special affection’ for Jose Mourinho.
The Chelsea midfielder is reportedly one of Mourinho’s top targets for the upcoming transfer window, while the United manager missed out on bringing the Brazilian to Old Trafford last summer.
Earlier this week, reports claimed that Chelsea are open to offers for the 28-year-old as the Premier League champions look to offload players in order to fund Antonio Conte’s transfer budget.
In an interview with ESPN Brasil, via Sport Witness, Willian was asked about the managers he has worked with during his career and took that as an opportunity to hail Mourinho.
‘I learned something from all of them. I learned a lot,’ he said.
‘When I went to Shakhtar with Lucescu. When I left Shakhtar, in a very short spell at Anzhi with Guus Hiddink, I learned a lot. And then here at Chelsea with Mourinho, a manager who helped me a lot, I learned a lot from him.
‘So with all of them I learned a lot. But we always have a special affection for somebody, and you feel that, that it is reciprocal of him. And we’re not even working together anymore, but we’ve become friends. And it’s Mourinho.
‘The coach who has helped me since my arrival at Chelsea. That backed me, that put me to play, that relied on my potential, that relied on my work.
‘So no doubt I have affection for all, but Mourinho was a guy that I have a special affection and helped me a lot.’
When asked if the public perception of Mourinho is unfair, Willian replied: ‘Actually, he’s a smart manager, I really enjoyed working with him.
‘Like every manager, when the team loses, or something happens, the team don’t do well, the manager ends up getting upset. But it’s part of the job.
‘He is a manager who talks to players, who is tactically very smart, knows how to lead the group well.
‘So I only have good things to say about him, this whole time I worked with him at Chelsea was very good. So he is a very good manager and person, and always tries to do the best for the team.’
Willian also acknowledged the link with United but reiterated that he is happy at Chelsea.
‘The rumours here in England are very big,’ said the midfielder.
‘Of course I’m happy when other managers show up interested in my football, I’m very happy about that, but today I’m a Chelsea player.
‘I have a contract until 2020 and I’m happy here at the club. Happy to live in London and my family is well adapted here, too.’