Willian recalls last-minute U-turn on Spurs transfer in 2013

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Willian of Chelsea battles with Son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at White Hart Lane on November 29, 2015 in London, England
Photo: Mike Hewitt/GETTY IMAGES

Willian has lifted the lid on why he made a last-minute decision to sign for Chelsea rather than London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2013.

The Brazilian winger was in London completing a medical at Spurs and on the verge of signing for them from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala when he received news of an offer from Chelsea.

In a recent interview with Simon Johnson from The Athletic, the 34-year-old acknowledged that once he became aware of Chelsea's interest, the Blues were the only option for him.

I was in London for two weeks, waiting, waiting for Tottenham to decide because they were in a situation where Gareth Bale was in the process of leaving them to join Real Madrid.

Liverpool were also interested. I wasn't sure about Chelsea. They'd shown interest but it wasn't so firm at first.

Chelsea came on the day I was going to sign the contract with Spurs. I was at Tottenham's training ground to finalise the deal when the call came. My agent said to me, "Chelsea just called me and they want you". I said, "OK, I want to go there!".

Then I left the training ground and went back to the hotel. It was a difficult situation because I'd agreed more or less to join Spurs, but in my mind was only Chelsea.

Once the deal between Anzhi and Chelsea was agreed, I only wanted to go there. It was the best decision of my career.

Chelsea would then pay the Russian club £31.95 million for Willian and the rest would be history.

Willian went on to make 336 appearances over a seven-year career with the Blues, picking up five major honours, two of which were Premier League titles.

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