Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that the club pulled out of the race to sign Willian as they could not afford his wages.
Spurs were deemed favourites to sign Willian earlier this summer, but the Gunners eventually won the race for his services after the expiry of his Chelsea contract.
The exact salary has not been disclosed, but reports claim that Willian earns around £110,000-a-week with the Gunners while he was also handed a significant signing-on bonus.
Speaking ahead of the north London derby, Mourinho said: “We don’t have money for Willian. We cannot pay the wages that he gets at Arsenal so I didn’t want to waste our time because we cannot pay these wages.”
Spurs are currently top of the Premier League with 21 points, eight ahead of Arsenal, who are languishing in the 14th spot with their worst ever start to a Premier League season.
Mourinho’s side will be overwhelming favourites for Sunday’s derby based on recent league form, but they will be hoping to come up with a fifth victory from six matches to sustain their first position.