Chelsea winger Willian has expressed his desire to reunite with Jose Mourinho amid rumours of a possible move to Manchester United. The Brazilian, who spent two and a half seasons under Mourinho between 2013 – 2015, has revealed that he is still in regular contact with the Portuguese manager, and hopes to work with him again in the future.
Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte experienced a number of high profile spats with players during his time at Stamford Bridge. The Italian’s clash with striker Diego Costa was one of the biggest news stories of last summer’s transfer window, and his supposed falling out with centre-back David Luiz made for huge headlines at the midpoint of Chelsea’s 2017/18 campaign. Towards the end of the last season however, the media focus quickly shifted to dynamic winger Willian, who gave a number of hints that his working relationship with Conte was beginning to break down.
Willian has since been linked with some of Europe’s top clubs, with Manchester United and Barcelona emerging as the most likely suitors. However, when Antonio Conte was given the boot by Chelsea and replaced by former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, it appeared that Willian would continue to fight for his place in the Blues’ starting XI.
“I’ve always made it very clear that I’ve always been very happy playing for Chelsea. I never said that I want to leave the club.” said the winger, following Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat to Man City last week.
Willian went on to confirm that he had been the subject of a bid from Barcelona – a bid that had been turned down by Chelsea, as the club continue to keep hold of their star players before the end of the transfer window. There could be one further twist to the tale however, with Willian opening up about his relationship with former manager Jose Mourinho in an interview with ESPN Brazil.
“Mourinho is the best manager I’ve ever worked with. We have a good relationship, we are friends,” said Willian.
“Sometimes we talk, we text, we send messages to each other via WhatsApp. He is a great manager, I really enjoyed working with him. I hope I can work with him again someday.”
Chelsea have signed just two players this summer, with midfielder Jorginho joining the club from Napoli, and veteran Rob Green earning a spot as a back up goalkeeper. The club are facing a tough couple of days, with reports that Real Madrid are lining up huge offers for both Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois. For now, Willian’s future remains uncertain. But don’t be surprised to see a sizeable offer from Man United before the clock ticks down on Thursday night.