Will Anzhi's Willian opt for red over white?
Willian is on an express route to the Premier League and the only question is whether his destination will be Anfield or White Hart Lane. The Brazil international is being sold by Russian club Anzhi and although Liverpool were early favourites to sign the attacking midfielder, who can also play as a striker or winger, Tottenham are also keen to add him to their books.
Both sides would be greatly improved if the former Shakhtar Donetsk star was orchestrating their attacks, and, on the face of it, his move will boil down to who is willing to pay the bigger wages.
Tottenham have long been interested in acquiring Willian, with chairman Daniel Levy having travelled to Ukraine in January to negotiate a deal with Shakhtar Donetsk before the move collapsed. Instead Willian moved to the Russian first division with Anzhi. The Brazilian has made no secret of his desire to play in the Premier League and Spurs head coach Andre Villas-Boas also tried to sign the 25-year-old when he was the manager of Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have reportedly been in advanced talks to bring him to Anfield. It had been hoped that a deal would be announced later this week. Although the Reds would still appear to be favourites to sign Willian, Spurs have now made their move and the attraction of playing for Villas-Boas and also living in London could sway the player’s thinking.
Willian’s current situation leaves him with a tough decision to make. In terms of playing time and establishing himself as a key player, Anfield would be the ideal destination for the South American. Although he’d be a starting player for either side, Spurs currently have an abundance of quality midfielders and I fear he would grow frustrated being used in a rotation system under AVB.
Despite this, the current set-up at Tottenham offers a more realistic chance of Champions League football next season. If he wishes to perform against Europe’s elite in the 2014/15 campaign, a move to the Lilywhites would be his best option.
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