Chelsea continue interest in Shakhtar winger

Chelsea are maintaining their interest in Shakhtar Donetsk winger Willian, despite having had a £16.5 million offer flatly rejected, according to The Mail.

Brazilian Willian, 23, has been at Shaktar since 2007, and has scored 13 goals in 99 appearances. He also also made 2 appearances for the Brazilian national side, and is thought to be keen on a move to England. However, Shakhtar are reluctant to part with the South American, responding to Chelsea’s bid by stating that Willian ‘is not for sale.’

Another factor that could stall a January deal is Willian’s previous involvement with Shakhtar in the Champion’s League group stages – meaning he would be ineligible for the tournament when the knock-out stages commence at the start of February. Chelsea manager Villas-Boas appears to have conceded that this would preclude a move, stating, “I don’t think we should go for players who cannot be involved in all the competitions.”

However, owner Roman Abramovich apparently remains keen on pursuing the deal, and is trying to use his connections with Shakhtar’s billionaire owner Rinat Akhmetov to come to an arrangement for Willian’s transfer.

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