The two clubs face off in the group stages of Europe's top competition on Tuesday, and the Ukrainian side's manager has backed his star player to shine against the Blues.Shakhtar Donetsk boss Mircea Lucescu believes star player Willian can make Chelsea pay for its failure to sign him in recent transfer windows when the two sides meet in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
The Blues reportedly bid for the Brazilian in January and over the summer, but twice failed to meet the Ukrainian club's asking price for the player. Now Lucescu has called on the 24-year-old midfielder to show the current European champions exactly what they have missed out on.
"Willian was far away from Chelsea," Lucescu told reporters. "They didn't even get anywhere near to our requirements, having done nothing to make my promises to Willian come true. Speaking specifically about the amounts, they officially offered the sum for which we had bought him young. I would really like them to highly appreciate his true value tomorrow and realize that they made a big mistake."
Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo insisted he had no role in negotiations to sign Willian, but did hail the former Corinthians man as a "fantastic player."
"As an assistant [at the time] I wasn't involved in those conversations but Willian is a fantastic player with good qualities," Di Matteo said in his pre-match press conference. "We have a good squad with good players, and I don't know where his future is, but the way he is playing here he looks quite happy."
Lucescu also noted that Chelsea showed an interest in defender Darijo Srna during Carlo Ancelotti's reign at Stamford Bridge, while also joking he was keen for club owner Roman Abramovich to show an interest in all of his players at Shakhtar.
"Several years ago, I had a conversation with Ancelotti, and he was interested in Srna," Lucescu said. "My wish is that, after tomorrow's match, Chelsea get interested in all of our players."