The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Depending on your own inclinations, this old Chinese or Arabic proverb must be especially true today. Jose Mourinho has appeared to be a little calmer after his wars in Madrid. He's got a bag full of kindly words for almost every manager in the English Premier League and doesn't want to tread on any club's toes when pursuing their players. Of course, that doesn't mean that Mourinho has lost his edge and he's experienced enough not to let his words run to a place where he cannot retrieve them. Chelsea were rumoured to have replaced Tottenham as Willian's dream move and Jose Mourinho's pre-match chat gave journalists a chance to find out more from the self-anointed "special one".
"He's already made his decision," said Mourinho on Willian's transfer dilemma. "I don't like to speak before time because football can be crazy." Mourinho continued to publicly inform his former protégé that victory in this transfer battle remained with the master not the apprentice. "I know what the player wants, so in this moment we cannot hide. That is a possibility."
If we believe that we're competing with Tottenham and Arsenal this season but not Chelsea then this news could be seen as a welcome development. Or not. Many people have played Top Trumps where each playing card has some data and numbers so that players can compare to see who wins. So, Liverpool versus Spurs. Some money but a tighter reign on big transfers versus the Europa League and potential Gareth Bale money. Spurs win out and seem close to a deal. Chelsea come along. Champions League combined with one of the most high profile managers on the planet in addition to a serious wage bill would easily top Tottenham. Liverpool too. Adding Roman Abramovich's billions just makes the game seem pointless.
Willian's agreed terms and a fee of around £32M is believed to be acceptable to both Anzhi and Chelsea. All Willian has to do is complete yet another London medical, smile for the cameras as he steps outside a vehicle, wait for his work permit, and pen a probable five-year contract. Unless there's another club in England who can or will even dare to top Chelsea, this story could be concluded by Monday.
This transfer will have potentially serious ramifications for some attacking midfielders in Chelsea's squad with fringe players such as Victor Moses unlikely to see any significant minutes this season. Liverpool and Tottenham will have to look elsewhere for a creative player who can operate in that "band of three" and time is running out. There are only ten days left in the transfer window. Get ready people, get ready.