Chelsea’s move for Willian is all but finalised.
While tremendous for the Stamford Bridge faithful, that declarative will annoy Tottenham fans to no end over the coming days.
The news that the attack-minded Brazilian will join the Blues on Wednesday, subject to a work permit being granted, was announced just four days after Spurs had conducted a medical for the 25-year-old.
It is believed Chelsea moved for Willian the day after his White Hart Lane medical, agreeing a fee with his current club, Anzhi Makhachkala, as well as personal terms with the player, within 24 hours.
Daniel Levy was said to be fuming, such was the tardiness of Roman Abramovich’s intervention, which is said to have been a major influence on Willian’s decision to join Chelsea.
There has certainly been no sign of sympathy from the Blues towards their London rivals however, in fact, quite the opposite.
‘Mock’ was probably the most used verb in reports rounding up Jose Mourinho’s press conference on Friday, as the Chelsea boss struggled to conceal his delight at having beaten Tottenham to Willian’s signature.
“That’s the danger of medicals before contracts,” he said. “The best thing you can do is do the medical in secret.”
When asked whether Willian had decided to join Chelsea, “the happy one” reacted, as Ben Rumsby of The Telegraph put it, ‘like the cat that got the cream’.
So, is there a genuine need for Willian at Stamford Bridge? And was the hijacking of Tottenham’s move for him as much to upset their neighbours as it was to benefit them?
The first question is not too difficult to answer.
Mourinho previously stated that Wayne Rooney was his only remaining transfer target this summer, which really tells you all you need to know.
Nobody of Willian’s mould was being sought after and, in any case, Chelsea had already added to their attacking flair, with Andre Schurrle joining Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar and co.
On Friday however, Mourinho said: “If you remember, I told that I am happy with my squad, but every one of us managers, we say we are happy, but we are always unhappy.
“We always want something more, we always want something of more quality and we never close the door to the possibility of adding more quality to our squad.”
It would therefore seem fair to say that Chelsea had no ‘need’ to go for Willian, but that the opportunity was simply too good to pass up.
Was there also though, a desire to prevent Tottenham from building for what appears will be a life without Gareth Bale?
Nobody can deny that Spurs will be much less of a threat without Bale. There is, after all, a reason Levy wants a world record fee for the Welshman.
The White Hart Lane club have already been preparing for Bale’s exit by bringing in the likes of Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Roberto Soldado.
Adding Willian could have been a final addition to supplement Andre Villas-Boas’ attacking options post-Bale and would have made Spurs look a frightening prospect, certainly on paper, for opposing defences.
Even though Mourinho, the manager that he is, probably does not see Chelsea having to compete with Tottenham come the business end of the season, if things do not quite go to plan, who’s to say the Blues won’t have to fend off Spurs for a Champions League place?
In that sense, signing the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk player could be a shrewd move by Chelsea.
All in all though, evidence suggests he is mainly a signing for the benefit of the Blues, rather than a signing to be of detriment to the building of any other club.
Sources close to the player say that enquiries about Willian’s availability have come from Stamford Bridge every transfer window since 2011.
And then of course, there’s the small point that Chelsea are shelling out in the region of £30million for his services.