Chelsea star Willian will hold formal talks with Arsenal over a free transfer next week, according to reports.
The Brazilian looks increasingly likely to leave Stamford Bridge after turning down Chelsea’s latest offer of a new contract. Willian wants a three-year deal but the Blues are only offering terms until 2022.
That has boosted the chances of Arsenal landing the 31-year-old and now, according to The Telegraph, the Gunners are preparing to pitch a three-year deal to the Brazilian as early as next week.
There was thought to be options on the table from Chelsea, Barcelona, Arsenal and Inter Miami for Willian this summer.
But it is claimed Willian has already rejected a three-year contract with David Beckham’s new MLS franchise because of his desire to stay in Europe.
Arsenal have already made contact with the Brazilian’s agent Kia Joorabchian, who negotiated David Luiz and Cedric Soares’ moves to the Emirates and is also close to technical director Edu.
The Telegraph claim the winger is ‘settled in London’, which could be a major boost to Arsenal’s hopes of landing him.
It is thought that signing Willian will cost Arsenal more than £100,000-a-week in wages but Mikel Arteta has given the green light due to his quality and Premier League experience.
The Athletic also reported on Tuesday that Arsenal ‘appeals’ to Willian after he was left impressed by the vision of Arteta and technical director Edu.
Although Willian’s contract is likely to be an expensive financial outlay for the Gunners, Arteta has been tracking the Brazilian for a long time and is keen to get a deal done.
Willian missed Chelsea’s FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal last weekend, which saw Arteta’s side secure a place in next season’s Europa League.
Willian, who joined Chelsea in 2013, will delay confirming a decision on his future until after the second leg of Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich on Saturday.
Chelsea start 3-0 down following the first leg back in February.
Willian is said to be optimistic of shaking off the Achilles problem that ruled him out of the final at Wembley.