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Anzhi Splurge On Willian

Brazilian midfielder Willian did get his sought after exit from Shakhtar Donetsk on transfer deadline day, but not to the English Premier League.

Willian had been linked to Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in every transfer window since Andre Villas-Boas arrived in Blighty. But no bid ever emerged for his services from England.

Instead, the 24-year-old will be making a slightly eastward move to ambitious Russian club, Anzhi Makhachkala.

Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu has confirmed that Willian will be leaving, after Anzhi triggered the release clause in his contract, as the transfer window creaked shut.

Reports suggest that Anzhi coughed up £35 million for Willian, in the most expensive deal of an otherwise sedate January transfer period.

Lucescu says he and Shakhtar did not want Willian to go, but ultimately they could not turn down Anzhi’s cash, nor resist Willian’s advisors who were after their own piece of the pie.

"There is a club willing to pay the release clause in his contract and Willian agreed to move. There is nothing I can do," Lucescu said.

"To tell you frankly, I tried to convince him to stay because I think his decision is hasty and not thought out well enough. He is like a son to me.

"He came to Shakhtar almost as a child and leaves us as a 24-year-old man. I told him he would have achieved more with us when we said goodbye. Why did he not listen to me? I guess he was under huge pressure from his agent and his relatives that wanted to get everything at once."

Willian is likely to become a Russian champion almost by default, when he joins up with title favourites Anzhi.

There he will play alongside the likes of Samuel Eto’o and under Guus Hiddink, probably in the Uefa Champions League next season.

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