Chelsea‘s Willian believes his former club, Shakhtar Donetsk, have harmed Alex Teixeira‘s prospects of playing for Brazil by blocking his dream move to Liverpool as part of a policy of selling star players to smaller clubs for more money.
The Reds attempted to sign Teixeira, 26, in January, with the player confirming his desire to move to Anfield. However, the Ukranian side ended up selling the Brazilian attacker to Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning in a £39m deal earlier this month.
Willian, who spent five-and-a-half seasons at Shakhtar before joining Anzhi Makhachkala, accused the club of harming his compatriot’s ambitions at international level. Teixeira, who remains uncapped, is yet to have even played at U21s level for Brazil’s national team.
“I wish him all the best in China,” said the Chelsea midfielder. “I’m sure that the financial aspect was crucial for his decision.
“He’s a very good player and could easily adapt to English football. I’d personally be happy if he’d come to the Premier League or even to another big European club. As it would increases his chances to play for Seleção.”
Willian, himself, won just two Brazil caps during his time in Ukraine. Since his move to Chelsea, he has become a regular for his country, collecting a further 28 caps as well as winning the League Cup and Premier League in his first two seasons in English football.
The free-kick specialist took a critical tone when discussing his former club’s transfer strategy, who he accused of seeking deals that were not always beneficial to their players.
“They prefer to sell to small clubs that can afford a higher fee than selling them to traditional clubs that wouldn’t pay the same amount of money,” he told Squawka. “That’s the case for Teixeira, and it has also happened with me.
“I know myself how difficult it is to negotiate with Shakhtar Donetsk. I suffered for two years there willing to leave the club.”
Willian left Donetsk for Anzhi Makhachkala in January 2013 but spent just seven months in Russia before he moved to Chelsea after a restructuring behind the scenes saw the Dagestan-based club put the majority of their first-team squad up for sale.
During his time with Shakhtar, Willian made 221 appearances in all competitions, scoring 37 goals, and won five Ukrainian Premier League titles, three Ukrainian Cup medals and the UEFA Cup in 2009 in its final season before being rebranded as the Europa League.
Shakhtar Donetsk have been approached but are yet to respond to Willian’s comments.