Willian could be heading straight to Arsenal should the Brazil winger decide to move from Chelsea in the weeks to come. The winger is yet to accept terms with the Blues despite having been offered a two-year extension to his expiring contract.
Willian, 31, now favours a move to Arsenal FC should he leave Stamford Bridge, the PA news agency has learned, even though the Brazilian player has had offers from clubs in America’s Major League Soccer, with Tottenham still spying the moves.
But Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal is now considered to be leading the bid on Willian’s move.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has always wanted to keep Willian in west London, with the highly-regarded winger scoring nine goals and making seven assists in this term’s Premier League.
But the former Shakhtar Donetsk forward has been holding out for a three-year contract, with Chelsea only having offered two-year terms.
Willian signed a short-term contract extension to cover the close of a campaign disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but that deal will expire after Chelsea’s Champions League exploits.
Willian sat out last weekend’s 2-1 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal through injury, but is battling to be fit for Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 second leg at Bayern Munich on Saturday.
Chelsea head to Germany with a 3-0 deficit from the first leg back in March, and exiting Europe this weekend could spell the end of Willian’s seven-year stint at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have already brought in prolific Germany striker Timo Werner and Morocco playmaker Hakim Ziyech ahead of next term, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz thought to be inching ever closer to a Chelsea transfer.
Lampard’s Stamford Bridge overhaul is expected to extend still further, with West Ham’s Declan Rice a target to feature at centre-back and Leicester’s Ben Chilwell another in the Blues’ long-term plans.
Spain winger Pedro is still expected to complete his move to Roma despite suffering a nasty-looking shoulder injury in Saturday’s FA Cup defeat.