‘I spent eight hours at Spurs’ training ground – then I left and joined Chelsea’

Ten years may have passed but Chelsea fans still can’t resist poking fun at rivals Tottenham over one of the biggest hijacks in transfer history.

Back in 2013, Willian was on the brink of joining Spurs. A deal was so far down the line, the Brazilian midfielder spent eight hours at the club's training ground and a medical had even been booked. But then Chelsea’s mega-rich owner Roman Abramovich got involved, contacting selling club Anzhi Makhachkala of Russia.

Willian had been leaning towards joining Chelsea but he was already on Spurs’ territory when his agent, Kia Joorabchian, informed him of the Blues’ interest. Recalling the day of drama during an appearance on Brazilian TV show Resenha in 2018, Willian said not even a threat from Spurs could dissuade him from making a U-turn.

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Willian, now of Fulham, explained: “I said, ‘So make do, I’ll get back in the van, you’ll make do and I’ll go to Chelsea, I will not sign with Tottenham’.

“I stayed there for eight hours in the training centre. Tottenham's director said, ‘I’m going to report you to FIFA, this and that, fans here in England will boo you’, this and that. They made up a lot of things. I got stuck there for eight hours. Then I left and I went straight to meet the Chelsea people to sort the details and sign.”

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During his time at the club, Chelsea supporters could often be heard singing: “The s*** from Spurs, they booked his flight, but Willian, he saw the light, he got a call from Abramovich, and off he went to Stamford Bridge, he hates Tottenham, he hates Tottenham, he hates Tottenham and he hates Tottenham!”

Jose Mourinho, Chelsea’s manager at the time, also couldn't resist a cheeky dig at Spurs, a club he would later go on to manage. The Portuguese boss quipped: “That's the danger of medicals before contracts.”

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