Andre Villas-Boas talked about more than his involvement (or lack thereof) in the putative Kevin de Bruyne transfer from Genk at his pre-QPR-match press conference on Friday. Chelsea's manager also discussed another target who's been talked about plenty around here over the past few days - Shakhtar Donetsk winger Willian. Last we checked, both Shakhtar and Willian himself were busy talking up the possibility of a move within the next few days, but Villas-Boas has poured some cold water on that rumour:
[Willian] is an interesting player but I don't think we are going to progress with our interest. Because of work permit, because of price valuation and because the fact that our project next year is more important than the actual project at the moment, Not that Willian doesn't have those characteristics for the future but we are betting a lot on what we can build on next year.
Some interesting wording there: "our project next year is more important than the actual project at the moment". That's a flat-out admission that Chelsea are in a transition year and that the club is essentially building for a major push in the 2012/13 season, which is fascinating because if we don't finish in the top four this season our finances take a rather nasty hit which I'm not sure the club can afford. If Chelsea focus on buying in the summer and lose out on a Champions League spot... yikes. Not making a new signing before the window closes would be a pretty desperate gamble*.
*One I can get behind, however.
In semi-related news, the Telegraph has come up with an interesting claim regarding another Brazilian: Sao Paolo's Lucas Moura, a We Ain't Got No History favourite. Since they haven't got anyone to talk about this on the record, take it with a grain of salt:
Chelsea are determined to see off other leading European clubs by signing the Brazilian teenage prodigy, who has a release clause worth £66 million, although he would actually cost considerably less.They are trying to complete the deal this month, although if successful they are likely to loan the player back to Sao Paulo for the rest of the season.
That sound you just heard was Stephen screaming in rather painful glee. Are we going to land Lucas Moura? I have no idea, but it sounds a lot more likely right now than it did yesterday.