Anyone who read the post about Willian yesterday would understand that I was more than a bit skeptical about their credibility just due to the general reputation of the Daily Mail. It does appear that the Mail have gotten this one correct though, as Shakhtar released a statement about the situation on their official website today. Here are the relevant points form their response:
- Is Shakhtar prepared to sell Willian to Chelsea?
- The philosophy of our club is simple: If a big club offers serious money for our player, we will always consider its proposal. Of course, if a player himself wants to leave. In our case, Willian expressed his desire to test himself in the Premier League.
- What can you tell about the alleged transfer fee?
- Willian’s contract involves a minimum release clause of 35 million Euros. But we met Willian halfway and are ready to let him go for 30 million. It should be said that for the aforementioned sum of money it will be difficult for us now to sign a player of Willian’s level. If the minimum release clause indicated in the contract had been 50 million Euros, then we would demand for the player no less than 40 million. It is important to understand that today we are talking about Chelsea’s desire to buy Willian, but not Shakhtar’s desire to sell him. We also need this player.
- What is your response to Chelsea’s 20 million bid for Willian?
- When Willian was 19 years old we paid for him almost the same amount of money. What is the point of such a deal then?
I've never seen such a clear cut response from a club in the middle of a negotiation, and frankly I'm shocked by it. What it will certainly do is cut out much of the speculation involved with this scenario as they have laid out their position for all to see. We now know for certain that the club is interested and Willian is in fact available if the valuation is met. I guess this means I'll be doing a Willian profile this afternoon, and it's nice to get thinking about something other than that "game" we all got to see this morning. More to come in a bit...