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Jan 26, 2012

Chelsea move 'excites' Willian

Chelsea target Willian has indicated he would be interested in a move to the Premier League club, stating that the prospect of playing for a team which regularly wins silverware "excites" him.

• De Bruyne set for Chelsea

Willian, an attacking midfielder who plays in Ukraine for Shakhtar Donetsk, has been tracked by Chelsea since last summer and earlier this month the club had a £16.6 million bid rejected.

And now the player, 23, has indicated he would be ready to move to London if the two clubs can agree a fee.

"Chelsea are known as one of the biggest and most successful clubs around," he told The Sun. "To play for them is a challenge I would accept and enjoy.

"If a deal doesn't go through, I'll understand. But I hope it happens. They have a culture of winning trophies and that excites me.

"I have friends in the Brazil side who play for Chelsea, like David [Luiz] and Ramires. All they talk about is the thrill of being in a city like London and playing for a club like Chelsea.

"I've known David since we played together in the Brazil Under-20 side and he talks about what Villas-Boas is trying to build at Chelsea. He and Ramires feel he wants a core of young players who can mature and grow together but also be successful.

"David says how the coach takes a real interest in all his players, how he can adapt different cultures together and bring the best out of them.

"I wouldn't have any fears about coming to England because I have played against English sides in the Champions League and studied the English game. To play in a league that is seen throughout the world would be good for my hopes of playing regularly for Brazil, especially with the World Cup at home in two years' time.

"That is my aim. I've worked hard for four years to establish myself in the national team. It has taken that long but now I feel I have a good relationship with the coach and I want to keep working hard, so I remain in the side.

"If the next step of the adventure is England, then I would be excited by that."

However, Chelsea may have to considerably up their offer if they are to land the former Corinthians player. But Shakhtar have indicated they could sell at the right price.

At the beginning of the week, Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin said: "We have no burning desire to sell the player, but in football some things are impossible to avoid.

'If it weren't for our good relationship with Chelsea - and Willian does not hide his intention to test himself in one of the best clubs in the English Premier League - we would insist on the £29 million release clause written into the player's contract.

"It is important to understand that we are talking about Chelsea's desire to buy Willian, but not Shakhtar's desire to sell him."

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