Arsenal have reportedly been in talks to sign Willian from Chelsea on a free transfer this summer, and according to Sky Sports, they’ve now emerged as favourites to get the deal done ahead of several other interested clubs.
It seems the Brazilian winger is very keen on the idea of working with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu, and that is why his mind is now turned towards the Emirates. Nothing has been set as definite as of yet with Chelsea still to face Bayern Munich in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 this week, but a decision is expected to be made soon afterwards, given that the Blues practically have no chance of going through in the competition, having lost the first leg at Stamford Bridge by 0-3.
The report confirms what many have been saying for a while now – that the main problem between Willian and Chelsea remains the length of the contract on offer. At the age of 32, Willian wants a three-year deal, and Chelsea have a strict policy that makes them highly unlikely to accept his demand. There is an argument to suggest that demand is not unreasonable, however. In each of his seven seasons with Chelsea, he has played in over 40 games in all competitions and his injury record is more than satisfactory, so it’s very probable that whoever ends up signing him will get their money’s worth on the pitch, especially in the light of his coming as a free agent.
Arsenal appear more than willing to offer Willian a three-year deal or there wouldn’t be any talks, but they face competition from several clubs in that aspect, including David Beckham’s MLS side Inter Miami.
Whatever is going to happen is very likely to happen within a week from now.