Tottenham appear to be closing in on the signing of Liverpool target Willian after the Brazilian international arrived in London ahead of a medical with the club.
The 25-year-old looks certain to leave Anzhi Makhachkala for around £30m and despite early reports that the Reds were in advanced talks with the Russian club over a move, it appears Spurs are now in pole position to sign the attacking midfielder.
Willian was close to joining Spurs in January this year, but after chairman Daniel Levy flew to Ukraine to negotiate a deal with his club at the time Shakhtar Donetsk, the clubs were unable to agree a deal and the highly-rated Brazilian moved to Anzhi instead.
But Premier League clubs were again put on red alert when Willian expressed his desire to play in England after Anzhi’s billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov lost patience with his underachieving squad and made every player available for a transfer in an effort to cut the extensive wage bill.
Spurs have already spent nearly £60m on the acquisition of new players, with Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho and Etienne Capoue all making their competitive debuts in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace – Soldado converting a penalty to give manager Andre Villas-Boas a winning start to the new season.
Willian plays predominantly behind the striker but he is capable of playing on either flank and he could be a potential replacement for current Spurs star Gareth Bale.
Bale is expected to complete a world-record transfer to Real Madrid before the September 2 deadline, although the move has stalled in recent weeks despite the announcement that talks remain on-going.
Should the Welshman head to Spain, Spurs would seemingly receive at least £85m should a player exchange not be included, and the deal would give the north London club more than enough to accommodate the move for Willian – along with more new faces should Villas-Boas feel the need to.
Willian is unlikely to take a pay-cut from his current £85,000-a-week contract, meaning Spurs will have to shell out a significant sum in both a transfer fee and wages, and the likelihood of Anzhi agreeing to accept Spurs offer is near certain with their intention to bring through their own players rather than big-money signings that thy have chased in recent years.