Manchester United appear to have edged ahead in the race to sign Chelsea winger Willian, after Barcelona saw a £50m bid rejected last week.

If the recently-dethroned champions are to sell the Brazilian, they would prefer to sell to a foreign club after receiving criticism for selling Nemanja Matic to United last year. Matic enjoyed a great season while his replacement at Stamford Bridge, Tiemoye Bakayoko, struggled to settle.

However the Spanish side appear reluctant to increase their offer for the 29 year old and that means long-term admirer Jose Mourinho — who signed the player for Chelsea — may well be able to persuade the Blues to sell to United again if they are to raise funds for their own transfers.

According to The Sun :

MANCHESTER UNITED believe they will land Willian now Brazil are out of the World Cup.

Boss Jose Mourinho made the Chelsea winger his No 1 summer target and is competing with Barcelona to seal a £60million deal.

United are ready to step up their bid to reunite Willian, 29, with Mourinho after the duo worked together at the Blues.

The Samba star would be the second Brazilian to arrive at Old Trafford this summer after the capture of £52m midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Willian vowed to focus on the World Cup and look at his future after returning from Russia.

But Brazil were dumped out on Friday as they lost 2-1 to Belgium in the quarter-final.

His future is now the focus after five years at Stamford Bridge, where he has won the Premier League title twice and both domestic cups.

Mourinho believes Willian will add an edge to his attack having lost faith in Anthony Martial last term.

However, it is believed that Willian’s arrival would be to boost United’s options on the right hand side and so shouldn’t impact on Martial’s future.