Chelsea have entered the race for Tottenham and Liverpool target Willian, according to the Mirror. The midfielder was believed to be close to moving to White Hart Lane but Blues' owner Roman Abramovich, reportedly made personal contact with Anzhi Makhachkala counterpart Suleyman Kerimov and bid £32m for the Brazilian.
According to the Mirror, Willian was close to moving to north London before a change of mind and a meeting with Stamford Bridge chiefs. Spurs were hoping to close negotiations for Willian and Argentine winger Erik Lamela, banking on money from the potential sale of Welsh international Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world record fee.
Andre Villas-Boas has already spent lavishly this summer, with a club record transfer of £26m for Spain international striker Roberto Soldado leading the way. Other new arrivals at the Lane include Willian's compatriot, the highly rated Paulinho; Belgian winger Nacer Chadli; and French midfielder Etienne Capoue.
A move for Lamela, who presently plays for Serie A side AS Roma, will cost Tottenham in the region of £30m as well, according to the Mail Online.
AVB has confirmed interest in Willian but has refused to comment on new developments, preferring instead to focus on the club's superb 5-0 win over Georgian champions Dinamo Tbilisi, in the first leg of a UEFA Europa League group stage qualifier. Goals from Andros Townsend, Paulinho and Danny Rose were complemented by a brace from Soldado, assuring Spurs of a berth in the group stages, barring a catastrophic result at home.
"I confirmed our interest in the player. Everything is possible, but I'm not aware of the circumstances because of our involvement in the game. I don't want it to be a distraction over what we achieved here tonight. We have been active in the market and achieved great players as we were able to act quickly. We want to continue that way so it is very difficult for me to speak about players that belong to other clubs," the former Chelsea boss said.
Spurs return to domestic duties this weekend, with a Premier League game at home to fellow Europa League hopefuls Swansea City. The London club beat newly promoted Crystal Palace in their season opener, while the Swans were thrashed 1-4 by champions Manchester United in their first game of the season.