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Report: Chelsea may have ruined Tottenham's deal for Gareth Bale's replacement

Brazilian midfielder Willian may be headed to Chelsea. (Getty Images) Brazilian midfielder Willian may be headed to Chelsea. (Getty Images)

With Gareth Bale likely on his way to Real Madrid for a record transfer fee, Tottenham reportedly had a replacement in mind: Brazilian midfielder Willian.

But with Willian in London ahead of an expected $45 million transfer to the Spurs, Chelsea may have stepped in and ruined the plan. The Guardian is reporting that Chelsea now leads in the chase for Willian.

Jose Mourinho, the club's manager, says he expects Willian to announce he will join Chelsea. The team's bid is reportedly slightly larger than Tottenham's.

From The Guardian's report:

"I think he's already made his decision," Mourinho said. When asked if that was Chelsea, he nodded in the affirmative. He added: "I don't like to speak before time because football can be crazy. I know what the player wants, so in this moment we cannot hide. That is a possibility."

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If Chelsea wrecks Tottenham's plan, The Guardian reports it could slow Bale's prospective sale. The transfer window ends Sept. 2.

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