Arsenal are reportedly close to agreeing with Corinthians to let Willian join the Brazilian club on a reported free transfer.
According to Sky Sports, Arsenal and Corinthians are close to agreeing a deal for out-of-favour attacker Willian, which could be a free transfer. The Gunners aim to save on the Brazilian’s significant wages that he has been earning since joining from Chelsea last summer on a Bosman deal.
There were mixed reactions when Arsenal signed Willian on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea last summer. While statistically, it seemed like a bright idea following the Brazilian’s best-ever season in a blue shirt, the Gunners received massive criticism when his huge wages became the major talking point.
Arsenal have been doing some bad deals, signing players on loan and free transfers, with none of those working in their favour. Moreover, Willian’s performances in a red shirt soon became unconvincing and Edu and Arteta got constantly criticised for signing a player out of form.
The major sticking point was when Arteta started Willian in several games at the expense of record signing Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian winger was a shining light as the Gunners ended the second half of last season brightly, although they have failed to replicate that form so far this season, losing both their opening games.
However, Arsenal are set to make amends by letting Willian leave the club on a free transfer. Discussions with Corinthians are advancing well since yesterday, and a move for the Brazilian outcast could be imminent. Arteta has shown no indication of playing Willian this season after limiting his appearances during the pre-season.
Arsen could get his massive wages off the books and could look to invest in other areas before the transfer deadline. In addition, there are other players primed to leave the club, including Lucas Torreira, who is expected to join Fiorentina imminently. The Gunners are also open to offers for Reiss Nelson among others.
Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are others staring at the exit door, and Arsenal remain confident of their exit. Eddie Nketiah is attracting interest from Crystal Palace, who are looking to negotiate a deal with the Gunners to recruit him permanently.
As for Willian, moving back to Brazil might be a good move to continue his playing career. Since moving to Arsenal, his game has stagnated, despite being Arsenal’s leading assist provider last term. For the Gunners, doing away with his massive wages will boost their finances and open up squad space, which is already overloaded.