Manchester United have held talks with Willian’s representatives as Jose Mourinho attempts to sign the Brazilian from Chelsea, reports say.
Mourinho is a known admirer of Willian and is keen to bring him to Old Trafford despite publicly suggesting the club will not sign any more attacking players this summer.
The Manchester United manager enjoyed a productive relationship with Willian while the pair were at Stamford Bridge, winning the Premier League and League Cup together.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the Red Devils have held informal talks with Willian’s party to gauge whether a summer deal could be on the cards.
Mourinho attempted to sign Willian last summer but was forced to focus his efforts on the Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic after Chelsea made it clear a deal would not be possible.
Willian’s current contract does not expire until 2020 but he has previously suggested he is frustrated at Chelsea as he often starts from the bench.
United signed Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January but Mourinho’s squad lacks a right-wing specialist and Willian has been identified as a top target.
Speaking earlier in the season, Willian confirmed he received an approach from Manchester United last summer.
‘I had contact with Manchester United but I was not close to leaving,’ he told UOL. ‘Of course, sometimes you get upset that you’re not playing. But that doesn’t mean you do not like the club or the people who work there.’
Mourinho, meanwhile, said last month that he hoped to sign a Brazilian player this summer, though he conceded it might not be Willian. ‘I think a team without a Brazilian isn’t a team,’ the former Chelsea boss said.
‘I think their talent is fantastic and the creativity of the Brazilian player cannot be measured. I worked with Brazilian players in every team I coached, and I enjoyed a lot.’
He added: ‘Who knows we can have a Brazilian in the squad next year. I don’t believe it will be Willian, because Chelsea won’t make it possible.’