Jose Mourinho’s hopes of bringing in his two main targets this summer were dealt a blow as one of them signalled his intention to remain with his club.
It is widely known that Mourinho has identified Premier League experience to try and help his team close the gap to Manchester City and while it seems as if there has been progression insofar as getting the name he wants in defence, it is the right-sided attacker where his hopes have been dashed.
Chelsea and Brazil star Willian has been at the top of the wishlist for Mourinho, while Ed Woodward had hoped Gareth Bale would leave Real Madrid. The delay and stand-off in this move has frustrated Mourinho, with good reason; Bale is certain to remain in Spain and Willian, who was with the Chelsea squad in yesterday’s losing Community Shield attempt, has now declared that he has no intention to leave Stamford Bridge.
Willian told reporters that he would only leave Chelsea if the club wanted to sell him, insisting he had not agitated for a move and wanted to stay in London.
The debacle has shades of the Ivan Perisic chase of last summer; where Jose Mourinho clearly wanted the Croatian, but Ed Woodward did not wish to bid the extra few million to convince Inter Milan to sell. Perisic showed his quality at this summer’s World Cup, scoring a great goal in the final, and the absence of that sort of ability was notable in how United were not able to maximise Romelu Lukaku.
It has been a disappointing summer so far, with major areas in the first team in desperate need of investment and transition; with the fanbase not willing to give Jose Mourinho any patience, he will need to hit the ground running and his insistence on senior players is therefore natural.
Mourinho may well find his job under pressure and if that is the case then he will surely be very critical of Woodward’s inability to secure the transfers he requested.