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According to the Sun, Arsenal are close to completing the signing of Willian on a free transfer. The Chelsea star has rejected new deals at Stamford Bridge and North London is likely to be his next destination.

That will be Mikel Arteta’s first signing of this summer’s transfer window. The Brazilian’s experience in the Premier League and his versatility in attack is said to be why Arsenal are so keen, but one issue could hinder the deal.

The report claims that Arsenal can only complete Willian’s signing if they offload Henrikh Mkhitaryan this summer. The Armenian is currently on loan at Roma, and multiple reports have claimed that the Italians want to keep hold of him.

7 Footballers With 0 Assists This Season

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The former Manchester United man was expected to be a success at the Emirates but his performances were underwhelming. The Premier League proved to be a bit too much for him but he has found his form in Italy.

Mkhitaryan has been a real star for Roma. The former Dortmund man has scored nine goals and has provided six assists but his future is still up in the air.

The Armenian’s loan deal has expired and talks are said to be ongoing between Arsenal and Roma. Mkhitaryan is currently earning £180,000-a-week and, without that going off the books, a deal for Willian isn’t possible.

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Il Tempo claimed just over a month ago that Mkhitaryan’s agent, Mino Raiola, has convinced Arsenal to terminate the Armenian’s contract at the Emirates.

There has been no confirmation of that which could cause problems. Arteta certainly seems keen on Willian and it is now up to Arsenal, Roma and Mkhitaryan to reach an agreement that would suit all parties.

If an agreement cannot be reached, Arteta’s hopes of signing the highly experienced Brazilian will be gone.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

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