Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has hijacked Tottenham’s proposed £30million deal for Brazil winger Willian.
And the dramatic swoop for the Anzhi Makhachkala player immediately put Gareth Bale’s world-record switch to Real Madrid in doubt.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas insisted his side could cope without Bale after they stormed to a 5-0 win against Dinamo Tbilisi in their Europa League qualifying play-off.
All smiles: Willian passed a medical at Tottenham but could now move to Chelsea in a sensational U-Turn
Hair tomorrow? Willian looks certain to leave Russian crisis club Anzhi Mackhachkala for the Premier League
But Sportsmail understands Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is so furious about Mourinho’s £32m move for Willian that he is threatening to pull the plug on Bale’s departure.
Stunned White Hart Lane officials will consider their next move today.
Negotiations with Real about Bale are so far advanced that the £94m mega-deal is still likely to go through by the September 2 deadline. However, Levy’s apparent fury provides yet another twist to the biggest transfer saga of the summer.
Willian looked certain to join Spurs at the start of the week after having a medical at the club.
Back again: Willian impressed in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea last season (above)
But Mourinho’s last-minute move to beat Villas-Boas, who worked under the Chelsea manager during his first stint at Stamford Bridge, leaves the deal in serious doubt.
Villas-Boas last night refused to discuss developments concerning Bale and Willian. But he said of the Dinamo thrashing: ‘Does this show we can compete without Bale? Yes, it was a good result. The team are changing and adapting to new players. It was good to test a few things as well.
‘In the end we wanted to get a result that put us in a good position for the second leg and we achieved it.
Looking ahead: Andre Villas-Boas insisted after Spurs' 5-0 win against Dinamo Tbilisi that his side can cope without Bale if he moves to Real Madrid
‘We are building a very, very strong team for the future. Strong teams are consistent when they have their best players available — you always want a stronger team than the one before. Our idea is to be stronger even more than last season.
‘We have to scout for the best players. We will continue to do so. We have already seen four of our new players here and, in the end, the stronger we look for the future the better.
‘We had some very good moments and the difference was scoring from the chances we had. The killer instinct was there and Dinamo didn’t have that.’