Arsenal were ready and willing to pay Willian £250,000-a-week before the global health crisis potentially scuppered their move for the Chelsea winger, according to The Mirror (26 June, page 52).
It would be unfair to suggest this Brazil international ‘rolled back the years’ with a magical performance during Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City on Thursday night.
Because Willian, even at 31, continues to produce match-winning performances on a regular basis at the top end of the Premier League.
At his swashbuckling best, the veteran winger remains almost unstoppable with his patented shift-and-smash crossing technique leaving even the finest full-backs chasing shadows.
So why on earth Chelsea would even consider not handing Willian the three-year contract he wants is anyone’s guess.
The former Shakhtar talisman remains as disciplined as ever and, even if he does lose a yard of pace, his outstanding technical ability should make up for that.
Arsenal continue to be linked but, with funds tighter than ever at the Emirates, they may no longer be in a position to make Willian one of their top earners with a staggering £250,000-a-week deal.
The two-time Premier League champion would probably have to take a sizeable wage cut if wants to join compatriots David Luiz, Gabriel Martinelli and Edu Gaspar at the Emirates – but that does not mean he will not start the 2020/21 season in that iconic red and white kit.
Willian has made it clear time and again that he wants to keep his young family in London after all.