Willian has revealed that Jose Mourinho was interested in bringing him to Manchester United last summer, but insists he feels at home at Chelsea.
Mourinho took over at Old Trafford in July, eight months after being sacked by Chelsea for the second time, having presided over a disastrous Premier League title defence and what technical director Michael Emenalo described as “palpable discord” between players and management.
Willian was one of Chelsea’s few reliable performers in Mourinho’s final season, registering five goals and six assists in the Premier League as well as being voted the club’s Player of the Year, and reports last summer suggested that the pair were set for a reunion at United.
Asked about the speculation in an interview with Globo Esporte, Willian said: “Concrete [offers], I have no idea. But Manchester United were interested in me, since Mourinho is there now.
“Other clubs I am not aware, but there is always something on the internet. In any case I am happy that there are clubs who admire my work.”
Willian has continued to perform solidly for Antonio Conte this season despite battling with Pedro Rodriguez for a place in the starting XI since October, when he was granted compassionate leave in the wake of his mother’s death.
“I had a problem, everyone knows how difficult it was and my mum’s health really affected me mentally and physically,” he said. “She was in the hospital for two months and passed away, so it was a really hard moment.
“I tried not to take these issues to the pitch but I could not do it. It ended up affecting me. I lost weight. Of course I will always miss my mother and the memories she left behind. The pain goes away, but I will always miss her. Today I feel much better mentally and physically.
“I lost four kilograms after my mother’s death, so it was a bit harder to come back. [My weight loss] left me quite worried since it greatly affected me. Mentally I had a really tough time as well but thanks to God, my family and my friends, I feel much better — and I recovered my weight.
“But anyway, now I feel much better. I want to continue on this run of form until the end of the season and continue to evolve.”