Willian is reportedly set to bring his seven-year association with Chelsea to an end, after reportedly rejecting the club’s latest offer of a two-year extension.
The Brazilian international is said to be holding out for a three-year extension and while his manager Frank Lampard wants the attacker to stay put, the Chelsea board are unwilling to match his demands.
This could lead to him exiting Stamford Bridge on a Bosman leave and Arsenal are believed to be frontrunners for his signature.
Following his controversial arrival arrival from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013, Willian went on to make 234 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions,contributing 63 goals and 62 assists, while he also played a starring role in winning five major trophies including the Premier League and Europa League.
However, having reached the end of his current deal in the just concluded season, the club risk losing him on a free unless a new deal can be agreed between all parties but it seems that would not happen and the player’s agent Kia Joorabchian confirmed that his client has received offers from two Premier League clubs, with interest also coming from Europe and across the world.
In his words: “We had big offers – one from MLS which required him to move on July 1 – but he’s always wanted to finish the season at Chelsea and the day after the season has finished, he would decide.
“He has two concrete offers from Premier League clubs on the table, an offer from an MLS club, and two offers from Europe. He is going to make his decision after the last game of the season.”
It is believed that the MLS club in question is David Beckham’s Inter Miami, while Barcelona are also linked with the services of the 31-year-old.
However, latest reports suggest that Arsenal are favourites to sign the former Shakhtar Dontesk man and a leaked video seems to lay credence to this view.
As reported by The Sun, a seven-second clip from PES 2021 shows Willian in an Arsenal jersey with annotations of ‘Welcome to the Emirates’ and ‘New Signing’. Furthermore, the video shows Willian walking out to a packed Emirates Stadium, with his name clearly written out at the back of his jersey.
The fact that the Gunners have collaborated with Konami in the production of the game and gave fans an inside view of what to expect from the coming game lays extra credence to the veracity of the video.
According to the Mirror, Willian has gone as far as telling his close family and friends that he is willing to reject a very lucrative offer from the MLS in order to become an Arsenal player next season and the North Londoners’ position would be further strengthened by the offer of European football after their FA Cup triumph over Chelsea at the start of August.
The Gunners are reportedly willing to match his personal demands and if the move is completed, it would see Willian extend his association with the Premier League past the 10-year mark.