Willian Wants Liverpool Switch

Martin Rose

Liverpool fans hoping for a big summer signing can feel a little more hopeful today after Brazilian attacker Willian spoke of his desire to head to the Premier League—and identified Liverpool as one of his preferred destinations.

Brendan Rodgers may have downplayed the idea Liverpool could be close to making any major new signings at his pre-Stoke press conference, but if rumoured transfer target Willian has his way it won't be long before that changes, with the 25-year-old issuing a come get me plea less than 48 hours before the new Premier League season kicks off.

Speaking to ESPN Brazil, Anzhi's highly rated attacker talked of his desire to move to England before the close of the window—and with Liverpool a particularly favoured destination. They won't be the only suitors for his services, though, with Tottenham rumoured to be interested in the player if can find the funds for it and Manchester City having had a £35M bid turned down earlier in the summer, prior to Anzhi's decision to sell their foreign stars.

After previously suggesting he wasn't for sale, Willian has now been left out of the Anzhi lineup that will face Zenit on the weekend, and while he admitted that no formal bids had yet been made since the Russian club chose to transfer list him after bankrolling billionaire Suleyman Kerimov cut the club's budget by two-thirds, for now any deals remain at the "conversation" stage.

"I'm waiting for a bid to arrive in the next few days from a few clubs like Liverpool," he said. "And if Liverpool really is interested, then it's a great club. I'm hopeful and calm, just waiting for the best. England is my goal. Like many players, the English Premier League is my dream. It would help me grow as a player, and in a World Cup year that will be important for me."

He further added that Kerimov has informed all of the club's foreign stars that if the club receives "an offer that at least comes close to the values he bought the players for" they would be sold. Willian only moved to Anzhi in January, when the Russian club proved the only suitor willing to pay Shakhtar Donetsk his full £30M release clause, and since arriving in Russia he has been on a quite reasonable—by Russian Premier League standards at least—£100k a week.

These latest comments suggesting the Premier League is his target and that he would welcome a move to Liverpool follow on from statements he made during the January transfer window in 2012, when despite being linked to Chelsea he said: "Every time I get the chance I watch Liverpool. They are a very important club and a lot of players would jump at the chance to play for them."

With Anzhi transfer listing the player and Liverpool currently running a surplus on their summer dealings, then, there's no reason to think a deal couldn't be wrapped up quickly if Brendan Rodgers is indeed interested in bringing the Brazilian to Anfield—something reputable sources from the Guardian to the Liverpool Echo believe to very much be the case.

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