Chelsea winger Willian is in talks with Arsenal over a free transfer after rejecting a two-year deal at Stamford Bridge.
The Brazilian winger has been at Chelsea for seven years and is in talks on a new deal but is unable to strike a deal with the Blues.
The Gunners are waiting behind the scenes to see if Willian manages to strike a deal with Chelsea before his contract ends after the West London club’s second leg with Bayern Munich on Saturday.
Willian rejected a two-year deal at Chelsea, with Arsenal in talks to sign the 31-year-old
The 31-year-old wants a new three-year deal and will leave Stamford Bridge if that cannot be offered by his current club.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are keen to give the Brazilian a new two-year deal, but no decision will be made until the club’s West London European game this weekend, according to ESPN.
The 31-year-old is in demand this summer, with Willian’s agent saying five clubs are vying for his signing, including two Premier League sides and Spanish giant Barcelona.
French media L’Equipe said Real Madrid and Manchester United, as well as Inter Miami, have contacted Willian about his availability, although the Brazilian’s preference is to stay in London.
It is understood that Arsenal technical director Edu, a former Brazil international, was influential in the winger’s talks with the Gunners, with both sides pushing for a three-year deal plus the option of a fourth.
Frank Lampard keen to keep Willian at Chelsea but a deal cannot be reached at the moment
Willian has been a key figure on Lampard’s side this season, appearing in 36 of Chelsea’s 38 Premier League games, while making four appearances in the Blues’ run to the FA Cup final this month.
However, new attacking signings such as Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech and RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner mean the 31-year-old’s playing time will likely be cut next season.
The Brazilian was not involved in Chelsea’s Cup final loss to the Gunners on Saturday, despite reports that he was fit to play.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are hoping to strengthen their squad after their exploits this weekend, with the Gunners’ manager hoping the FA Cup triumph can strengthen their squad for the season ahead.
But there are fears that the north London club may lose captain and winner of Wembley match Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer.
Willian (left) could ease the blow to Arsenal if he loses Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right)
The Gabonese striker’s contract in north London ends in less than a year and Arsenal’s difficult financial situation means they may have to take advantage of their star man.
Willian’s arrival in north London would see the 31-year-old team up with compatriot and former Chelsea teammate David Luiz, while he will also compete for a starting spot with young Brazilian prodigy Gabriel Martinelli.
The winger joined Chelsea in 2013 from Anzhi Makhachkala and has since made 339 appearances for the Blues, scoring 63 times.
Since joining Stamford Bridge, the 31-year-old has helped the Blues win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup and the 2019 Europa League final against Arsenal.