Shakhtar have previously seemed unwilling to sell their star playmaker, with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur rebuffed in several occasions, but have his efforts to secure a move led to them signing Taison as a replacement?
It had seemed to be the one big summer rumours that wasn’t going to rear its head again this January, with Shakhtar in the Champions league knockout stages and Chelsea and Spurs looking at other targets, but recent events have led to Willian once again being strongly linked with a move to London.
Firstly the player’s own actions have demonstrated that he is desperate to make the move despite Shakhtar’s European run, with coach Mircea Lucescu confirming that the players hasn’t returned on time from holiday and that he is putting some pressure on the club. Why Willian would be so keen to move now rather than in the summer isn’t clear, but it seems to be the case.
That pressure might well have been what prompted Shakhtar to make the move for Taison, a player who had looked close to signing for Chelsea. The Ukrainian club stumped up the £12.5 million release fee for the 24 year old, and the question now will be whether there is more to the Taison signing than just the arrival of another fine Brazilian at the Donbass Arena.
Chelsea had looked certain to sign Taison at one stage, and the fact that Shakhtar were able to complete the deal instead could suggest the Blues have other thoughts on their mind. With Taison at Donetsk, Chelsea might now go all out for their original target Willian at a time when Shakhtar could be more willing to sell the player.
They would still demand a high fee though, and this is what makes Chelsea a likelier destination than Tottenham Hotspur. There’s no doubt Willian is coveted by Andre Villas-Boas, but the reported £20 million price tag fits more with Chelsea’s transfer budget than Tottenham Hotspur’s.
The initial disappointment felt by Chelsea fans at missing out on Taison would be instantly forgotten if there is a chance that his move to Shakhtar could increase the chances of Willian coming to England. The Brazilian playmaker had looked destined for a summer move to London at the soonest, but there will be plenty of speculation now that a January move could happen.
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