Willian believes move to a Chelsea rival 'would be fine' as Brazilian lauds Jose Mourinho as 'best coach I worked with'

Midfielder looks set to leave Stamford Bridge after failing to agree new terms

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Chelsea midfielder Willian has said he sees no problem in joining a rival club if he leaves the Blues on good terms as speculation continues to link the Brazilian with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Willian, 31, admitted last month that his seven-year spell at Chelsea is likely to come to an end this summer when his contract expires after failing to agree terms on a new deal. The Brazil international is holding out for a three-year contract but Chelsea were only willing to offer two years.

Given his situation, rumours have begun circulating regarding his next move. Spurs appear an obvious option due to Willian's positive relationship with manager Jose Mourinho, who signed the Brazilian for Chelsea in 2013 and attempted to take him to Old Trafford while in charge at Manchester United.

Arsenal, too, have been credited with an interest in Willian, while Spanish champions Barcelona had previously attempted to sign him during the summer of 2018.

Moving to a rival club often causes plenty of friction between the player and his previous team's supporters, but Willian does not envision any issues if he leaves Chelsea amicably.

“It really is a hard decision. I identified myself a lot at Chelsea, I have a lot of love for everyone at the club, and the fans," Willian told Brazillian YouTube channel Desimpedidos.

“However, it is like I said before, if I leave Chelsea with no trouble and leaving the doors open, it would be fine to move to a rival club.”

When pressed on whether he would be aiming to stay in London, Willian said: "I don’t know. I like London and so does my family. However, this is a question that I still don’t know the answer, if I will stay at Chelsea, move to another team from London, or leave England."

While remaining noncommittal over what his future holds, Willian did take the opportunity to sing Mourinho's praises, which is sure to add further speculation over a possible move to Tottenham.

“He is not only a great coach but also a great friend of mine. Sometimes we talk but regarding this situation, he totally respects it," he said.

“I learnt a bit from each of [my managers] but I identified myself more with Mourinho for sure. He trusted in my potential, liked my football, gave me full confidence to play. He is the best coach I have worked with.”