First, there were rumors that Chelsea had bid on Shakhtar Donetsk's Willian, but then the Telegraph shot that down, saying that the Blues had never bid on the Brazilian. It looks like the Telegraph was wrong though because according to Sky Sports News Shakhtar president Sergei Palkin has said that the Blues have indeed bid on Willian. Aren't the transfer windows fun?
"We have received a bid from Chelsea for Willian valued at €20 million," Palkin said. "But he is not for sale."
Considering it's a direct quote from the club president, odds are the Blues have put a bid in, but it does fall well short of the €29 million that Shakhtar value him at. Chelsea have already brought in Gary Cahill this January and while they don't have a chance at winning the Premier League, they do have a battle on their hands for a Champions League spot. There's also the Champions League knockout stages in the spring and the need to replace some aging players on the roster so the Blues have work to do.
With all that, the Willian bid would make sense for Chelsea. As Graham MacAree's of SB Nation's Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History explains, this one adds up and it won't be much of a surprise if Willian ends up at Stamford Bridge before long.
Anyway, there's enough buzz running around this rumour to make it pretty obvious that there's a real interest in bringing Willian in, and the shape of the rumours and quotes to date means I'm inclined to believe that Willian is indeed for sale and that Chelsea and Shakhtar aren't that far off an agreement. We're probably not going to hit his buyout clause (which has been reported at 'more than £25M' by the Telegraph), but I wouldn't be surprised at this point if a second bid of around £20M is offered and accepted.