Some fun news coming out of Shakhtar Donetsk today regarding potential . According to the Ukrainians, the Blues have made a move for the Brazilian wideman, lodging a transfer target Willian€20M bid that's been rejected:
We have received a bid from Chelsea for Willian valued at €20million, but he is not for sale.
-Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Sergei Palkin. Source: Sky Sports News.
It's a story that's rather at odds with the Telegraph's assertion that Chelsea have not lodged a bid and that Shakhtar have assured Chelsea that £16.7M (i.e. €20M) will get the job done, but since we've got a direct quote from Palkin in the Sky Sports article we should probably trust that one.
Anyway, there's enough buzz running around this rumour to make it pretty obvious that there's a real interest in bringing Willian in, and the shape of the rumours and quotes to date means I'm inclined to believe that Willian is indeed for sale and that Chelsea and Shakhtar aren't that far off an agreement. We're probably not going to hit his buyout clause (which has been reported at 'more than £25M' by the Telegraph, which is another knock against them because it's actually £29M), but I wouldn't be surprised at this point if a second bid of around £20M is offered and accepted.
Then again I thought Javier Pastore was a lock for Chelsea so it's entirely possible that I'm just not very good at this rumour-interpreting business.