Liverpool aim to beat off competition for Willian

Liverpool aim to succeed in the signing of Anzhi winger Willian, ahead of Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.  Strong media speculation is linking the Brazilian with a £30million move to Anfield.

The 25-year old began his career as a youth player with Brazilian side Corinthians.  He made the step up to the first team in 2007.  His debut for the side was in a 1-0 victory over Juventude that May as an 18-year-old.    His first goal would come in a 2-2 draw with Atletico-PR. that August.  His time with the club came to an end after two seasons, two goals and nearly 40 appearances.

In August 2007 he signed a contract with Shakhtar Donetsk on a 5-year deal.  The transfer fee was €14million.  He made his debut in a 2-1 league victory over Chornomorets Odesa the following month.   His first goal for the side came in a domestic cup victory that October.  Willian made his Champions Leage debut that November in a 3-0 defeat to AC Milan.  He ended the season with 28 appearances and 1 goal.  He helped his side to a league and cup double.

The 208-09 season saw the player increase his goal output with 8 in 52 appearances.  Willian continued to impriove and impress and before his move to Anzhi he amassed 20 goals in 140 appearances and became highly regarded as an exciting attacking winger.

In January this year Willian made the switch to Anzhi for a fee beleived to be in the region of €35million.  The contract he signed at the time was to keep him at the club until 2017.

However with Anzhi now willing to let many of their top players go, Willian is one of the high profile players most likely to leave and Liverpool now seems the most likely destination.

The future of Luis Suarez does not seem to come into the equation with regards to whether the player needs to be sold in order to fund the move.  By all accounts, it is beginning to seem feasible that Suarez could well be staying at Anfield, something unforeseen even a week ago.

If Suarez does stay and Willian does link up with the club it can only augur well for the new campaign which began well for the club yesterday with a 1-0 victory over Mark Hughes’ Stoke City, thanks to a Daniel Sturridge goal.

Liverpool will hope that they and not Spurs’ or United are the destination of choice for the skillful player.  The coming days should see an answer to that question.


Brian is a sports journalist with over 5 years experience of writing on all things soccer. Resides in Dublin, Ireland.