Ahead of Sunday’s North London Derby, Jose Mourinho has spoken of his close relationship with Arsenal winger Willian.
Tottenham and Arsenal will come together this weekend in, at least historically, unusual circumstances, with Spurs firm favourites to come out on top in the contest.
Mourinho’s men are top of the league, while Mikel Arteta’s Gunners only seem able to record points in the Europa League at current.
They head to Tottenham as the underdogs, but with a player who scored twice against them and manager Mourinho last term – Willian.
The Brazilian struck twice for Chelsea during a 2-0 victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last term. Considering his past relationship with him, you could think it strange that Mourinho passed up on him after his departure from Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho has now offered insight into why Willian was allowed to sign for their rivals over a reunion with him, though noting that he still has a brilliant relationship with the winger.
“We don’t have money for Willian,” Mourinho is quoted by the Evening Standard. “We cannot pay the wages that he gets at Arsenal so I didn’t want to waste our time because we cannot pay these wages.”
“He is still dangerous, he is still one of the best players in the Premier League. Apart from that, he is a good friend. I have nothing to hide in relation to that. We keep in touch, we keep in contact, we call each other. We wish good things to each other. He is my friend and of course he is a very good player.”
He’ll be hoping that Willian’s dreadful form in an Arsenal shirt continues at the weekend, even if the pair are as close as he suggests.