Arsenal are favorites to sign Willian if in the coming weeks the Brazilian winger opts to leave Chelsea. Willian has not yet negotiated with Chelsea on new terms, despite being given a two year extension to his expiring deal.
And, as the PA news agency understands, the 31-year-old now favors a move to Arsenal should he leave Stamford Bridge.
Willian has had club deals in America’s Major League Soccer, with Tottenham tracking the situation.
Yet Arsenal for Mikel Arteta is now known to be leading the queue for his services.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has been adamant during the season that he wants to keep Willian in West London, with the highly regarded winger scoring nine goals and making seven assists in the Premier League of this term.
Yet the former Shakhtar Donetsk forward has held out for a three-year deal, with just two-year terms Chelsea offering.
Willian signed a short-term contract extension to cover the closure of a coronavirus pandemic affected campaign; but that deal will expire after Chelsea’s Champions League exploits.
Willian sat the 2-1 FA Cup final loss to Arsenal last weekend through injury but is struggling to be fit for Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 second leg at Bayern Munich on Saturday.
Chelsea heads to Germany with a 3-0 deficit from the first leg back in March, and this weekend’s exit from Europe could mean Willian ‘s seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge finished.
The Blues have already put ahead of next term prolific German striker Timo Werner and playmaker Hakim Ziyech from Morocco, with Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen thought to be ever closer to a move from Chelsea.
The renovation of Lampard’s Stamford Bridge is expected to stretch further, with Declan Rice from West Ham becoming a candidate to feature in the center-back and Ben Chilwell from Leicester in the long-term plans of the Blues.
Spain’s winger Pedro is also expected to complete his transfer to Roma, despite sustaining a nasty-looking shoulder injury in the FA Cup loss on Saturday.