Chelsea star Willian has refused to accept offers from the club over a contract extension and is finally set to leave Stamford Bridge.
According to the reliable Fabrizio Romano, the Chelsea forward has snubbed the opportunity to pen a one-year extension with the Blues. As a result of the same, FA cup champions Arsenal have begun talks with his entourage as they aim to snap him up as a free agent.
The Gunners have been linked with Willian over the past few months after his future was left hanging in the balance. A few other clubs, such as Barcelona, have also expressed interest in the Chelsea winger but Arsenal are understood to be favourites to secure his signature.
The above source also claims that Barcelona, who have been Willian's admirers for a long time now, are yet to table a bid for him.
Willian not ready to accept Chelsea's brief extension offer
Willian joined Chelsea from Anzhi Makhachkala back in 2013 and has since gone on to become one of the more established wingers in the Premier League. In 339 appearances for the Blues, the Brazilian has netted 63 goals and collected five trophies.
This season, he played a huge role in infusing his experience to a young Chelsea squad, while his form since the Premier League restart also guaranteed his side a top-four finish.
His future has been uncertain for the last year or so due to failed negotiations between Chelsea and his representatives.
While Willian wanted to sign a contract that would more or less see him finish his career at Chelsea, the club's policy of awarding no more than a one-year extension to players above the age of 30 led to the stalling of talks.
Willian watched on from the bench as Chelsea were left bruised by Arsenal in the FA Cup final, after which his manager Frank Lampard confirmed that there have been no advancements over Willian's contract.
Reflecting on the winger's situation, the Chelsea boss said:
“It is his decision, I haven’t got that answer. I know the situation at the club’s end. I have a great relationship with Willian, but I don’t actually know what the decision is. If that happens over the next whatever days, as he said, then that would be good for me in either way."
"But it is his choice and I respect his choice. He has been a great servant for Chelsea if he decides to move on, and if he does decide to move on then Chelsea will move on and we have to look forwards ourselves.”
Willian has garnered interest from as many as five teams in the world, including a club in the MLS who he could have paired up with back in July.
After seven years of stupendous service, it might be time for Chelsea to move on after having already signed Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. Not to mention, the honing of Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi also holds key for Chelsea.
Willian might play his last game for Chelsea against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena later this week as the Blues aim to turn a 3-0 deficit around with a team plagued with injuries.
Published 03 Aug 2020, 18:45 IST