Football

Willian door open for Chelsea

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Willian set for Stamford Bridge? (©GettyImages)
Willian set for Stamford Bridge? (©GettyImages).

Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu has encouraged Chelsea to bid for the club's Brazilian star Willian this summer, providing they pay the right price.

Sergei Palkin, the Ukranian giants' chief executive officer, revealed in January that the club had rejected a £16.7million bid for the attacking midfielder, from the Premier League suitors.

The 23-year-old joined Shakhtar from Corinthians in 2007, and has won three league titles and the 2009 UEFA Cup during four-and-a-half successful seasons.

After turning in a series of scintillating performances over the past 12 months, Willian has attracted interest from a host of top European clubs, and more bids are expected when the transfer window reopens in June.

"They have to pay the price," Lucescu is quoted by Sky Sports, speaking at the club's training centre in Donetsk on Thursday. "They have to pay the price because we bring the players here at 17 or 18 years old.

"We pay a lot of money because they are talented players and we bring them up. I have 23 or 24 [players like that], not only Willian.

"Luiz Adriano, Douglas Costa, Alex Teixeira, Dentinho, Alan Patrick - they are very young and they are already prepared to win a championship with a good mentality. They have played a lot of matches in Europe and they have a very, very good value.

"If Chelsea pay his [asking price], I am not against letting my players play for the big clubs. If they pay the price, he can go. If not, he will remain here because he has another two-and-a-half years on his contract."

Whether Chelsea will renew their interest in Willian in the summer remains to be seen, after Andre Villas-Boas - the man behind the club's prospective bid at the turn of the year - was sacked from Stamford Bridge in March.

Either way, Lucescu is confident that the steady stream of talent being nurtured at Shakhtar will continue for many years to come.

"If Chelsea want to take good players that are very well educated then at Shakhtar we have a lot of Brazilians," he continued. "It is not only the performances they have done here but their education, which is very, very important.

"For us, every transfer is very difficult because we (have) taken a player of 18 years without a European education."

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
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