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In profile: Willian

As reports link Willian with three Premier League sides, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the Brazilian attacker.

When Suleiman Kerimov made it known last week that he had put the majority of the Anzhi Makhachkala squad up for sale, it is said to have created a clamber among some of Europe's top clubs.

However, while the likes of Samuel Eto'o are thought to be of interest to Chelsea, it is Anzhi's number 10 that has really captured the attention.

Willian only joined the Russian outfit from Shakhtar Donetsk in January earlier this year for a fee in the region of £30m, but the Brazilian is now likely to be available at the right price.

It has prompted Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur into action - all of whom are said to be interested in the attacking midfielder.

With Anzhi believed to be determined to recapture the funds that they used to originally recruit the 25-year-old, what would the Premier League trio be getting for they hefty outlay?

Despite operating in an advanced position, the Sao Paulo-born player is not a great scorer of goals - more a scorer of great goals. His best return came during his stint with Shakhtar, where he scored eight times in all competitions on three separate occasions.

Willian of FC Anzhi Makhachkala in action during the Russian Premier League match between FC Dinamo Moscow and FC Anzhi Makhachkala at the Arena Khimki Stadium on July 19, 2013© Getty Images

It is the creative side of his game where he really earns his corn. Since arriving at Anzhi, Willian has been involved in a goal every 120 minutes. It is a similar story when you look back on his time in Ukraine.

He has also proved himself in the Champions League, particularly last season when he found the back of the four times and shone against the likes of holders Chelsea and Italian outfit Juventus.

As for his career, Willian came through the youth ranks at Corinthians and made his debut during the 2006-07 campaign. He made just 41 appearances for his hometown club before Shakhtar came calling with a bid of £10m.

It took him a year to adapt to his new surroundings, but by the time the 2008-09 season came around, he was a key component in the Miners' starting lineup.

He may have displayed his qualities in some of club football's biggest competitions, but is hasn't been enough to see him nail down a regular slot in the Brazilian senior squad. He's pulled on the famous yellow shirt just two times, both of which came in 2011.

Having conquered Eastern Europe, next on his list could well be English shores. In turn, it may also boost his chances of being part of the Samba setup for next year's World Cup.

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