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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that Brazilian midfielder Willian has chosen to reject the chance to join Tottenham Hotspur in favour of a move to Stamford Bridge.
25-year-old Willian appeared set to finalise his move from Anzhi Makhachkala to Spurs in a deal worth a reported €30m having undergone a medical with the club on Thursday, but it would appear Chelsea have leapfrogged their London rivals and are now in pole position to sign the Brazilian.
"I think he has already made his decision," Mourinho told a press conference, before nodding in the affirmative when asked if that was Chelsea.
"I don't like to speak before time because football can be crazy. I know what the player wants, so in this moment we cannot hide. That is a possibility."
With the transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid seemingly imminent, the arrival of Willian at White Hart Lane would have come as a significant boost for the club.
Andre Villas-Boas remained coy when asked of the club's attempts to sign the Brazilian earlier this week, but witnessing a prime target opt for a move elsewhere having already had a medical will come as a great source of frustration for the Spurs boss.
"That's the danger of medicals before contracts," Mourinho continued. "You have to do the medical before, but the best thing to do is to do the medical in secret.
"If the player is fine, you can sign him. If the player is not fine you don't destroy his career."
Chelsea's public pursuit of Wayne Rooney will be brought further into the limelight on Monday evening when Manchester United welcome the Blues to Old Trafford.
Mourinho has indicated the club will make another official bid for the England striker after Monday's game despite having two bids already rejected by the Premier League champions.
In his own press conference this afternoon, David Moyes reiterated his non-negotiable stance regarding Rooney's future, but Mourinho remains undeterred.
"When you own a player, you have a contract with a player for a long time, even if the player wishes to leave -and sometimes that happens," the Chelsea manager added.
"That contradiction happens. The player wants to leave, the club wants to keep him.
"We (managers) have to make a decision one way or another way. We have to persuade the player to stay, or the player persuades us to sell."
The potential arrival of Willian has reignited suggestions that Juan Mata may be offered to United in an attempt bring Rooney to Stamford Bridge, reports that were laughed off by Mourinho.
"He is a player we all like, he's a player we all went to keep and we want more quality in the team, we don't want less quality.
"We want to add quality. Juan is not a player we want to lose."