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Switching transfer destination from Tottenham Hotspur to Chelsea at the last minute should not have come as a surprise, insists Jose Mourinho's £30m summer acquisition Willian, who told Brazilian broadcaster Sportv that the Stamford Bridge side had shown a summer-long interest in him but he was, at the time, prevented from leaving Anzhi Makhachkala.
'They made an offer two months ago but I was not allowed to leave,' he said. 'I kept following the club and I used to go to London to follow Chelsea whenever I had free time and now my dream has come true.'
He finished by remarking that he is particularly looking forward to learning under his new coach: 'I will work with Mourinho who is the best manager and I will grow a lot with him.'
The love for Mourinho has been shared by Willian's international team-mate Oscar. The attacker heralds the Portuguese manager to be one of the best on the planet and believes he'll also pick up a few tricks on the training ground. Oscar is quoted by Four Four Two to have said:'It's been great to work with Jose Mourinho. He is one of the best coaches in the world.
'We have seen he has already had a lot of success at Chelsea and I am just really happy to have the opportunity to work with him. You can already see the influence he has had on us during the first few games and I hope the team will be able to continue to grow under him, as I will also be able to grow as a player.'
The squad love for Mourinho is reciprocated by the man himself, who is happy with the roster at his disposal throughout the season. He told BT Sport: 'We have that [balance]. We have two players per position, with three strikers and an extra midfield player.'
He also divulged Samuel Eto'o's motivations for transferring to a Premier League club: 'Samuel comes to England with the same objective with which I went to Spain - he wants to be the first one to win the Spanish, the Italian and the English league as a player. He always wanted to play in the Premier League so he comes with big motivation.'
Mourinho's main rival for titles during his tenure as Real Madrid manager was Barcelona, a club he could have lost David Luiz to if summer transfer rumours were to believed. The player, though, has finally lifted the lid on the whole saga and has reiterated his Blue loyalty, despite the Camp Nou side sending his Brazil team-mates in an attempt to twist his arm.
'Barcelona sent [Daniel] Alves and Neymar to convince me to join them, but I was clear to them. I wanted Chelsea,' he is quoted by the Fulham Chronicle to have said. 'Did Chelsea prevent me from leaving? Barca made an official offer, I confirm. But I wanted Chelsea. It’s a personal decision.'
image: © Ben Sutherland