Willian ‘hopeful’ over Liverpool bid

The Brazil international, who has been put on the transfer market by his Russian employers, has described the Reds as ‘a great club’

Willian has expressed his interest in a move to Liverpool after being told that he can leave Anzhi Makhachkala for the right price.

The Brazil international only arrived in Dagestan from Shakhtar Donetsk in January for a reported fee of €35 million, but the 25-year-old has now been put up for sale by club owner Suleiman Kerimov, who last week announced drastic cost-cutting measures.

Willian has explained that Anzhi have yet to receive any official offers for his services but that he is anticipating an offer from Liverpool and perhaps another approach from Manchester City, whose advances were spurned in the past, after having previously told Goal he was open to a move away from Anzhi in future.

“For now, all there is are talks,” Willian told ESPN Brasil. “There was the Manchester City bid [of €40 million], and that was turned down [before Kerimov decided to reduce funding] and that was a while ago.

“Now, I’m waiting for a new bid to arrive in the next days from a few clubs, like Liverpool. If it’s really Liverpool, then it is surely a great club. I’m hopeful and very calm, just waiting for the best.

“I know some clubs have talked with my agent about the money, but he hasn’t told me anything. He only said that he had conversations with some clubs, and he also didn’t tell me which clubs.”

When asked if he believed the clubs in question were English, Willian replied: “I think so. England is my goal. The English championship is the dream of many players and I’m no different.

“I like the Premier League very much, I enjoy the English football and certainly, if that happens, it will be very good for me and for my image.”

Meanwhile, Willian admitted that Kerimov’s sudden decision to curb his spending had taken him by surprise, on the day that Igor Denisov led the exodus of star names from the club by joining Dinamo Moscow along with Yuri Zhirkov and Aleksandr Kokorin.

“I saw the news on the internet, and then when I got to the club I heard lots of people talking about it,” the 25-year-old explained. “No one was expecting it, that’s for sure.

“I respect everyone’s opinion, though. He probably has his reasons to decide that. I’d rather stay cool, working and never let my head down, even in a situation like this.

“All I know is that [Kerimov] told us that Anzhi wouldn’t be making further investments, that in six months they will be returning to Makhachkala, that they’ll be going home, that more Russian players will arrive and that, if the foreign players who had offers would be free to go, that he would help us.

“He doesn’t want to let anyone go for free but he made it clear that, if good bids arrive – something at least close to what he paid for the players – he would certainly help us go.

“[He is] not giving anyone away. [But] if a good offer for the arrives, they’ll let us go; if not, we stay. That’s it.”

Willian, who has been capped twice by his country, joined Shakhtar from Corinthians six years ago.

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