The Russian rich boys now need to cut their wage bill.
Former big spenders Anzhi Makhachkala have been forced to transfer list all of their players in order to reduce their expenditure with Tottenham Hotspur keeping an eye on Willian, according to the Daily Mirror.
The talented Brazilian is a favourite of Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, with the 35-year-old trying to sign the winger when at Chelsea and now White Hart Lane.
Willian has only been at Anzhi since January this year after making a colossal £30m transfer from Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, but with the club only finishing third in the Russian league and being knocked out in the last 16 of the Europa League by Newcastle United, changes are expected to be made.
The club’s wage bill is estimated at £120m – with the current highest player in the world, Samuel Eto’o, taking a £350,000-a-week pay packet – but Anzhi want to cut that by more than half to £50m.
“Changes to the club’s budget are caused by the UEFA up-to-date requirements and linked with the club obligation to comply with Financial Fair Play but, at the same time, they won’t lead to considerable deformations in the team’s life and in the current structure of our club on the whole,” the Russians announced on their website.
It means that players like Willian, Eto’o and former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Lassana Diarra are all up for grabs, but the Brazil international is the most highly coveted of the bunch.
In five-and-a-half years at Shakhtar the 24-year-old provided 44 assists from the left-wing, along with 20 goals in 140 league matches.
Willian was instrumental in the club’s first team but after falling out with the Ukrainian side earlier in the year was aiming for a move to England,but Anzhi were the only team prepared to meet the hefty release clause of the South American.
“I wanted very badly to go to England, but I have no regrets and couldn’t wait any longer to leave Shakhtar – they used to tell me one thing and then act otherwise,” the winger said at in January.
“Anzhi were the only ones who agreed to play for my release clause.”