Have Chelsea beaten Spurs in race to sign Brazil's Willian?
If Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is to be taken seriously then the deal is probably done.
Mourinho hinted on Friday that Brazil playmaker Willian has chosen to join Chelsea ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.
British media reported the Anzhi Makhachkala forward was set to join Tottenham in a 30 million pounds deal after a medical at the north London club amid interest from Liverpool.
Chelsea, however, have entered the race to sign the player and manager Mourinho struck an upbeat note when discussing the potential move ahead on their match against Manchester United on Monday.
"I think he's already made his decision. I don't like to speak before time because football can betray you," Mourinho told reporters.
"I could not say much in previous press conferences. I have to try to be honest and try to hide a few things.
Image: Willian of FC Anzhi Makhachkala in action during the Russian Premier League match between FC Spartak Moscow and FC Anzhi Makhachkala
Photographs: Dmitry Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images
'The best thing to do is do the medical in secret'
"If you remember, I said I am happy with my squad but every manager says we are happy but we always want something more and we never close the door."
Willian joined Anzhi from Shakhtar Donetsk in January, but the club's owner Suleiman Kerimov has tightened the purse-strings at the Dagestan club, with the entire first-team available for sale, according to media reports.
Capped twice by Brazil, Willian can play as an attacking midfielder or out wide.
"That's the danger of medicals before contracts," Mourinho said having seemingly got one over his former protege and current Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, with whom he worked Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan
"The best thing to do is do the medical in secret."
When asked if the deal was close, Mourinho joked: "We have to do a medical."
Image: Jose Mourinho at a training session
Photographs: Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images
'Mata isn't a player we want to lose'
The Portuguese also quashed speculation that Spaniard Juan Mata could be about to leave StamfordBridge.
"No speculation," he said.
"He is a player we all like, we all want to keep and we want more quality in the team, not less quality.
"We want to add quality to that quality we have. He isn't a player we want to lose."
Mourinho is wary of working with an unwieldy squad.
"Do we need to sell?" he asked. "No. Do we need to loan? Probably yes, because I don't like to work with big squads. 22 is the perfect number."
Image: Juan Mata
Photographs: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images