Former Shakhtar Donetsk star Willian denies joining Anzhi for money
Anzhi Makhachkala's latest signing Willian has denied rumours that he joined the Russian club seeking big money.
The 24-year-old, who was continually linked with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, signed a four year contract with the Dagestan outfit, following a €35 million transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk.
Willian, who is now the third most expensive transfer in Russian football history, has strongly denied that he moved to cash-rich Anzhi for financial gain.
He said: "Shakhtar offered me to stay with them at any price.
"I've earned quite a lot of money in Donetsk. With Shakhtar I also won a set of titles not only in Ukraine but in Europe also. I felt comfortable there. But the time for change has come."
The Brazilian added that he was happy to join Anzhi, describing the rise of the club an ambitious and a long-term project.
Willian added: "My conversation with Anzhi owner Suleiman Kerimov decided everything.
"After that I decided to join Anzhi. The club management are not only thinking about short-term gains, they really want to create a serious football infrastructure in Dagestan, to lift the game in the republic to a higher level."
The Brazil international arrived at the club's mid-season training camp in Marbella over the weekend, but will have to wait until after the winter break to make his club debut.