Chelsea superstar Willian is reportedly open to joining arch rivals Arsenal when his current contract runs out at the end of the season.
As per a report from The Sun, Chelsea star Willian, who is in the final few months of his contract with the club, is willing to join cross-town rivals Arsenal in the summer on a free transfer, provided the Gunners qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
Willian’s current contract with Chelsea is set to expire at the end of the season. The Brazilian has been locked in negotiations with the Blues over a new deal, but a breakthrough hasn’t been made as of yet.
Reports have claimed that Willian is holding out for a three-year deal, but Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is unwilling to offer a deal longer than twelve months, which is acting as the roadblock in negotiations. And now, it has emerged that the winger is open to switching to Arsenal should he fail to agree terms with the West London outfit.
The reason behind this, is believed to be that Willian and his family are settled in London. Speaking to ESPN Brazil in the aftermath of Chelsea’s 4-0 win against Everton last weekend, the 31-year-old said: “We really like London, I have said it many times.
“It is a city where my family and I love to live. I don’t know why she [his wife] published this post, but the contract situation really isn’t easy. Chelsea offered me two years, I asked for three years and everything stopped there.”
Willian signed for Chelsea from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013 and has racked up over 300 appearances winning two Premier League titles along with other trophies. The ongoing campaign has seen the 31-year-old feature 37 times across all competitions, scoring 7 goals and assisting 6 more.
Willian’s contract situation has led to a number of clubs taking an interest in him. Chelsea’s local rivals Tottenham Hotspur had been credited with an interest with manager Jose Mourinho a huge admirer of the Brazilian, while more recently Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have also been linked.
Arsenal are also believed to be one of the many teams looking at Willian with an eye on a free transfer in the summer. While the 31-year-old is open to a transfer to Chelsea’s cross-town rivals, a move is likely to hinge on their qualification to the Champions League, chances of which look bleak.
Arsenal, despite enjoying a resurgence under Mikel Arteta, are still in the ninth spot in the league, eight behind fourth-placed Chelsea. Moreover, with the Premier League currently suspended for the time being due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there are chances that the competition might be cancelled entirely as well.
With Chelsea boss Frank Lampard keen on holding on to Willian, it will be interesting to see if the club give into the 31-year-old’s demands or if he ends up leaving the club for a direct rival.