Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have been put on red alert over the availability of Willian, according to reports.
The Evening Standard claimed early on Friday that, were Taison to join Shakhtar Donetsk, Premier League clubs - including Chelsea - would be keen on his compatriot.
And, after the uncapped Brazilian swapped Metalist Kharkiv for the Donbass Arena, speculation has instantly linked his would-be teammate with a move away from the club.
Chelsea had appeared set to sign Taison after agreeing a fee in principal for the player, but a change in ownership saw the Blues’ apparent deal disappear, and now their target has joined this season’s Champions League group stage opponents in a £12.5 million deal.
“On 10 January, presidents of FC Shakhtar and FC Metalist Rinat Akhmetov and Serhiy Kurchenko negotiated the transfer of a forward Barcellos Fred Taison from the Kharkiv club to the Donetsk team," read a club statement on Shakhtar's website.
That move has led to Tottenham Hotspur also being linked with Willian, with manager Andre Villas-Boas an admirer of the 24-year-old, according to Metro.
Indeed, the Spurs boss has come close to signing the player in the past, according to the report, and has expressed a desire to play in the Premier League.
However, the asking price is in excess of £20million, the paper claims, and could be an issue for the White Hart Lane outfit. Tottenham Hotspur would have to break their record transfer fee to bring the player to north London, where he’d be alongside compatriots Sandro and Heurelho Gomes.
Chelsea aren’t short of Brazilians either, with David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar all part of the first team fold at Stamford Bridge.
And, with the player admitting last month that he was ready to join the Blues, interim manager Rafa Benitez will certainly believe he has a chance of landing the player if the funds are made available by owner Roman Abramovich.
“My desire was there, with a £20.3million offer from a big club like Chelsea. I wanted to pack my things and go, but I can’t do that as I am under contract,” he told ESPN.com.br.
With only 18 months left on his current deal and a potential replacement now signed, things may have changed if Willian does indeed still want to leave.
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