‘’The best thing to do is do the medical in secret.’’
The Anzhi Makhachkala star has only been in Russia for six months, but after the Dagestan outfits recent turmoil he is one of the big names being flogged by owner Suleyman Kerimov.
It attracted the interest of a number of teams, including Liverpool, but it appeared Andre Villas-Boas had got the player. Willian underwent a medical at the club earlier in the week and a deal seemed done - at a fee in the region of £30 million.
Then, Chelsea made their move. Once they knew the price and the fact he was already in London it was easy to push through a move for the player.
They met the valuation Tottenham had and the lure of Champions League football did the rest, Chelsea had absolutely gazumped their London rivals to the talented former Shakhtar Donetsk star.
Last summer Levy flew to Ukraine to thrash out a deal for Willian but came back empty-handed - this year we imagine he felt it was a far more straight forward switch.
So while he was in Madrid trying to figure out a deal for Gareth Bale, the team’s best player, to leave the club (and admittedly also trying to seal a deal for Roma star Erik Lamela) he left the operations behind the Willian deal in other hands.
But Chelsea have also been keen on the player for a while, and utilising his need for a Work Permit they decided to have a go themselves.
Roman Abramovich was reportedly at the centre of this deal. The oligarch reportedly using his connections with Anzhi owner Suleyman Kerimov to keep tabs on any Spurs deal - and you can imagine he would have struck when the time was right.
Meanwhile Levy is left scratching his head wondering why their replacement for Bale will be playing in a Chelsea shirt this season.
Well played Chelsea, and better luck next time Spurs.
What do you make of the Willian transfer saga?
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