Chelsea winger Willian has confirmed in an interview with Globo Esporte that Manchester United made an approach to sign him last summer.
It seems as though Jose Mourinho decided that he wanted to take his former player with him when he was appointed United’s new manager last May.
Willian was signed by the Portuguese coach at Stamford Bridge following a tug of war with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
In Mourinho’s final season in charge of the Blues before he was sacked in December 2015, the winger was a shining light in a dismal campaign.
The Brazilian, who scooped the club’s Player of the Year award for the 2015-16 season, has now revealed that he could have made the jump over to Old Trafford.
“Concrete I do not know. But there was interest, yes. From Manchester United, because Mourinho is there too. From other clubs I do not know, but there are always some things on the internet. But I’m glad to hear that there are clubs that admire my work.”
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and considering that Chelsea look on course to win the Premier League title this season due to their current nine-point lead, Willian made the right call to stay.
United are sixth in the standings, 14 points adrift of their rivals and are fighting for a place in the top four.
Under Antonio Conte, the Brazilian has featured in all but four of the Blues’ 24 Premier League games, but he has been named in the starting lineup just 12 times.
Willian started in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool, but he had to settle for a spot on the bench for last weekend’s 3-1 win over Arsenal.
There is no guarantee that the winger would have cemented a starting spot at United, particularly as Mourinho has a number of options in that position.
Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial can all play in similar roles, and even the sale of Memphis Depay to Lyon has not freed up much space.