Transfer news: 'Everything is possible' admits Andre Villas-Boas as Chelsea move to hijack Tottenham deal for Willian

The Brazilian play-maker had appeared set for White Hart Lane

Andre Villas-Boas admits he is in the dark over reports that Chelsea are set to pip Tottenham to the signing of Willian.

Willian is the club's top target to replace Gareth Bale, who was edging closer to a world-record move to Real Madrid on Thursday after Franco Baldini held discussions with the nine-time European champions.

Willian underwent a medical at Spurs earlier this week, but reports on Thursday night claimed that Jose Mourinho has attempted to gazump his former protege by bidding for the Brazil international.

Mourinho claimed earlier this summer that Wayne Rooney was his only remaining transfer target, but the Chelsea boss now appears to have had a change of mind.

Villas-Boas, speaking just after Tottenham's 5-0 Europa League playoff win over Dinamo Tbilisi, said he knew nothing about Chelsea's apparent approach for Willian, but he conceded anything was possible regarding the transfer.

"We were just involved in a game so unfortunately I can't give you further information," the Tottenham manager said.

"I confirmed our interest in the player. Everything is possible, but I'm not aware of the circumstances because of our involvement in the (Dinamo) game. I don't want it to be a distraction over what we achieved here."

Madrid, meanwhile, seem so confident they are going to sign Bale that they appear to already be stocking replica shirts bearing the Tottenham forward's name.

The Spanish giants kept the number 11 free when they announced their squad numbers in pre-season and screen grabs of the club's official online shop appeared to show the option to buy a Bale replica shirt for 73 euros (£62).

Shortly after the screen grabs went viral, the site was down for maintenance.

If Bale does seal his move to the Bernabeu on Friday - as has been reported in the Spanish media - it will mark the end of one of the longest-running transfer sagas of the summer.

It will also give the Wales international the opportunity to shine in the Champions League, where he deserves to play following his stellar performances last season, when he scored 31 goals for club and country.

Villas-Boas' new-look team proved there might be life after Bale when they routed Dinamo in the first leg of their playoff game.

Andros Townsend put in a Bale-esque performance on the flanks, scoring a fine solo goal and setting up two more to put Spurs in charge of the tie ahead of Thursday's second leg.

"Andros has been working well in training, so we felt it was time to give him an opportunity and he did very well," Villas-Boas said.

"If we have the type of performance we had to today (from him) we can always count him.

"For all the young players we are bringing through the competition they face is extremely difficult and in my opinion, when you overcome that type of opposition you can only become a top player.

"He is doing it the right way he seems very focused after last year's experience."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue