Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Chelsea's Willian move news to AVB

Willian had been expected to move to Tottenham but could now join Chelsea

Andre Villas-Boas admits he is in the dark over reports that Chelsea are set to pip Tottenham to the signing of Willian.

Willian is the club's top target to replace Gareth Bale, who was edging closer to a world-record move to Real Madrid on Thursday after Franco Baldini held discussions with the nine-time European champions.

Willian underwent a medical at Spurs earlier this week, but reports on Thursday night claimed that Jose Mourinho has attempted to gazump his former protege by bidding for the Brazil international.

Mourinho claimed earlier this summer that Wayne Rooney was his only remaining transfer target, but the Chelsea boss now appears to have had a change of mind.

Villas-Boas, speaking just after Tottenham's 5-0 Europa League play-off win over Dinamo Tbilisi, said he knew nothing about Chelsea's apparent approach for Willian, but he conceded anything was possible regarding the transfer.

"We were just involved in a game so unfortunately I can't give you further information," the Tottenham manager said.

"I confirmed our interest in the player. Everything is possible, but I'm not aware of the circumstances because of our involvement in the (Dinamo) game. I don't want it to be a distraction over what we achieved here."

Madrid, meanwhile, seem so confident they are going to sign Bale that they appear to already be stocking replica shirts bearing the Tottenham forward's name.

The Spanish giants kept the number 11 free when they announced their squad numbers in pre-season and screen grabs of the club's official online shop appeared to show the option to buy a Bale replica shirt for 73 euro (£62).

Shortly after the screen grabs went viral, the site was down for maintenance.

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