Arsenal are reportedly refusing to give up on signing Willian, whose Chelsea contract is set to expire in June, this year.
According to a report by The Sun, Arsenal want to secure the services of Willian, who will become a free agent come this June, when his contract with Chelsea runs out.
The 31-year-old has reached an impasse over signing a new contract with the Blues and in an interview with Expediente Futebol, he said, “With Chelsea it is finished. Everyone knows that my contract ends in a few months and the renewal is difficult. I will be able to negotiate with any team.”
This is Willian’s 7th season in a Chelsea shirt, and his attacking output is as low as ever. The Brazilian has only managed to score 5 goals and provide as many assists in his 28 Premier League appearances. And, as he enters the final months of current deal with the west Londoners, interest from Arsenal, among other clubs, has emerged.
Willian could serve as a left winger for Arsenal, where Mikel Arteta normally deploys Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the role. Aubameyang is almost certainly leaving Arteta’s side, especially seeing as he will have less than one year remaining on his Arsenal deal in the summer.
There has been a lot of speculation about Willian’s next club, with nearly every top level club, including Arsenal, linked with the 31-year-old. French champions Paris Saint-Germain are also eyeing the Chelsea winger as a short-term replacement for Neymar, who might be on his way out this summer.
There has seemed to be a circus surrounding Willian and Barcelona every transfer window, with the Catalan giants trying to sign him in each of the last two summers. However, the Blaugrana have reportedly passed up on the chance to sign him, providing Arsenal a clearer run at him.
The report from The Sun, meanwhile, also states that Arsenal could face competition from Tottenham Hotspur, with Jose Mourinho looking to reunite with his former Chelsea charge. Spurs, who only have 2 out and out wingers in the form of Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min, could probably make do with another winger among their ranks.
Even though he had initially stated his desire to stay put in West London, it is now certain that Willian will leave Chelsea. Arsenal, however, may not be the best destination for him if he wants a last look at collecting some silverware, although it remains to be seen if the Gunners can pip the rest of the competition to sign the Brazilian international in the summer.