Chelsea given Willian hope
Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu has told Chelsea they can sign Brazil international Willian if they are willing to pay the full market value for the forward.
Former Corinthians youngster Willian joined Shakhtar in 2007 and although the club had previously insisted they were not interested in selling the star, they have now changed their approach.
Shakhtar chief executive officer Sergei Palkin revealed in January that Chelsea had a £16.7 million bid for the attacking midfielder rejected, but now manager Lucescu has given the Premier League side hope.
"They have to pay the price," Lucescu told reporters. "They have to pay the price because we bring the players here at 17 or 18 years old. We pay a lot of money because they are talented players and we bring them up. I have 23 or 24 [players like that], not only Willian.
"Luiz Adriano, Douglas Costa, Alex Teixeira, Dentinho, Alan Patrick - they are very young and they are already prepared to win the championship with a good mentality. They have played a lot of matches in Europe and they have a very, very good value.
"If Chelsea pay his [asking price], I am not against letting my players play for the big clubs. If they pay the price, he can go. If not, he will remain here because he has another two-and-a-half years on his contract."
Lucescu though insists he is unaware of any continued Chelsea interest, but believes that the Ukranian club are right to stand their ground over a player they have invested considerable time and effort into.
"It is not my problem," the Romanian said of the transfer fee. "It is the problem of our club and Chelsea. But if Chelsea want to take good players that are very well educated then at Shakhtar we have a lot of Brazilians.
"It is not only the performances they have done here but their education, which is very, very important. For us, every transfer is very difficult because we taken a player of 18 years without a European education.''