Manchester United are reportedly confident of signing Brazilian forward Willian from Chelsea – with Juan Mata potentially on his way out.
Jose Mourinho is a huge admirer of Willian, who he worked with at Stamford Bridge and tried to bring to Old Trafford last summer.
United were in talks with the player’s representatives but Willian decided to stay put after Chelsea booked their return to the Champions League in style by winning the title.
That has not deterred United from monitoring Willian throughout the current campaign, however, and The Sun say the club are optimistic that a deal can be struck this summer.
Willian’s current contract at Chelsea does not expire until 2020 and the Blues will not want to lose the Brazil international for less than £30m, the fee they paid to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013.
Mourinho wants to bolster his United squad in the summer to build a squad capable of challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title.
And Willian’s arrival at Old Trafford could mark the end of Mata’s United career. The 29-year-old has failed to earn a regular starting spot under Mourinho, but has reiterated his desire to stay at United.
Speaking last November, he said: ‘I’m happy here. The club is massive, the support we have is massive. I’ve been settled down in the city since year one.
Now it’s my fourth year in Manchester. ‘You never know what can happen in football and in life. But my feeling now is that I’m happy here and I wouldn’t have any problem continuing here for more time.’ Willian, meanwhile, confirmed last year that his agent was in talks with United but that he was more than happy to stay in west London.
‘He likes me a lot and I like him a lot as a coach and as a person. He has put his trust in me and in my work, and I was very grateful to him. ‘Manchester came to me, they talked with my agent, but nothing happened, because Chelsea would not negotiate me in any way and I’m very happy at Chelsea.’