EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea bid 20m for Shakhtar star Willian
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has launched a 20million bid for Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian midfielder Willian.
The skilful 23-year-old shot to prominence last year with a series of outstanding performances which guided Shakhtar to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.
Just Willian: Chelsea have ramped up their bid to sign the Shakhtar midfielder
Willian, who can play on the left of midfield or behind the strikers, was pivotal in their defeat of Roma – scoring twice as Shakhtar ran out 6-2 aggregate winners over the bewildered Italians.
His virtuoso display made him a prime target for Arsenal. Manager Arsene Wenger tried to sign him last summer but was put off by Shakhtar's asking price.
Interest: Villas-Boas is hopeful Abramovich can tie up a deal for Willian
Not Edin to the Bridge: Chelsea won't move for Hazard if they sign Willian
However, Chelsea manager Villas-Boas believes Willian's extra pace and flair is worth paying for and hopes Roman Abramovich can strike a deal. Ukrainian club Shakhtar will not sell easily as they value the Brazil international, full name Willian Borges da Silva, at 30m.
But Abramovich is hopeful he can reach a compromise and give Chelsea a fresh injection of flair to go alongside Juan Mata. The move could put an end to negotiations for Lille's Eden Hazard.