Willian is set to leave Chelsea this summer, and the Brazilian is reportedly on the verge of signing for Arsenal.
According to The Guardian, the Brazil international – who can operate as an attacking midfielder or as a winger – has failed to agree on a new deal with Chelsea.
The report has added that the 31-year-old is on the brink of moving to London and Premier League rivals Arsenal on a three-year contract plus an additional one-year option, and that he will earn £120,000 per week as salary plus lucrative add-ons.
ESPN has reported that Willian is upset that Chelsea did not offer him more than a two-year contract, but manager Frank Lampard has played down that, and has said that he wishes the attacker “well” if he moves on and switches to Arsenal, as quoted in The Guardian.
Chelsea’s loss will be Arsenal’s gain, and former Gunner Paul Merson – who now works as a pundit for Sky Sports – has raved about the Brazilian.
Merson wrote about Willian in The Daily Star: “Arteta won’t be Arsenal manager forever. He needs to win now. Willian can help him do that.
“He’s a special player and a blinding signing in my opinion. Okay, he probably won’t be pulling up any trees in his third year, but who cares? He ticks every box.
“He won’t have to settle in London because he’s been here for years and his family love the place. He won’t have to adapt to a new league because he’s already a proven performer for a top club here.
“So he should be able to hit the ground running because he won’t need loads of time to adapt like a player coming in for big money from a foreign club. He’s quick and he works hard and he has plenty of experience. He also has that guile that Arsenal sometimes lack. He could even play as a No 10.”
Brilliant signing for Arsenal
Willian will turn 32 on August 9, but the Brazilian remains at the top of his game and would be a stunning signing for Arsenal.
The creative player will make Mikel Arteta’s side better in attack, and he would also make the team hugely exciting to watch.