MOSCOW, February 1 (R-Sport) - Russia’s big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala are to sign Brazil striker Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk because “he chose money,” the Ukrainian team’s coach said Friday.
Willian, 24, had been linked to English clubs Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur but will join Anzhi in a €35 million transfer, Russian newspaper Sport-Express reported.
“It’s his personal decision, which we should respect,” Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu told the newspaper.
“Instead of a dream about a strong club from the English league, constantly competing in the Champions League and playing against Barcelona, Real, Bayern, Manchester United, Willian chose money.”
Willian has been at Shakhtar since 2007 and played a key role as the Ukrainians reached the knockout stages of the Champions League this season, contributing four goals and two assists in six group games.
He has been less successful in the domestic league, with two goals in 14 games this campaign.
He has two caps for Brazil.