Chelsea's Willian deal highlights Mourinho's wariness of Spurs, reminiscent of Robben

The Brazilian has signed for the Blues in what has become a familiar tactic for Manchester City and previously, Chelsea.

Recently, Here Is The City published an article titled 'Can Tottenham Hotspur win the Premier League title?' with supporting quotes from Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

The expected Blues acquisition of in-demand Brazilian; Willian, recruited from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala is not only a metaphorical slap in the face for Andre Villas-Boas and Spurs, but also a footnote to Jose's earlier sentiments about his rivals in North London.

Tottenham are not just pushing for a place in the top four, they could vie for the actual title.

When Manchester City were first enjoying their limitless transfer funds, one of the first clubs they targeted for players was Arsenal, signing talismanic striker Emmanuel Adebayor and pivotal centre back Kolo Toure for a combined £41m in 2009. Gael Clichy followed two years later.

Not only did this strengthen City, it weakened the Gunners; a club who would traditionally finish above them in the Premier League table.

By luring Willian away from White Hart Lane, not only has Mourinho strengthened his own team, but he also denied Spurs the opportunity of further reinforcing their own first XI. It is also reminiscent of how Chelsea snatched tricky winger Arjen Robben away from Manchester United's grasp in 2004.

The benefits of the Willian transfer, though, are multi-pronged as it also paves the way for potentially-surplus attacker Juan Mata to move to Old Trafford in a speculated swap deal involving United forward Wayne Rooney going the other way, to Stamford Bridge.

Willian, 25, was believed to have passed a medical ahead of a switch to North London on Wednesday. Chelsea's official interest, meanwhile, was only made apparent at 18:00 local time on Thursday, but their late involvement hijacked the deal and the player is expected to be unveiled as a new Blue imminently, having penned a five-and-a-half-year contract.

Willian was bought for £30m.

By securing Willian, Mourinho may inadvertently force Tottenham's hand into delaying the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. At least until a player such as Erik Lamela is brought in to provide a suitable replacement.

image: © Tom Cuppens

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