Arsenal were ready to tempt Chelsea winger Willian with a £250,000 per week offer before the financial impact of the global pandemic struck, according to a report.
Willian, whose contract at Chelsea was due to end on Tuesday, has agreed a short-term extension to complete the season.
However, his future past that point is unclear; Frank Lampard refused to give details of his intentions in Wednesday’s press conference.
Meanwhile, reports in the past several months have claimed Arsenal are keen on the Brazilian.
Indeed, Daily Mirror journalist John Cross now says Arsenal had big plans for the 31-year-old and were ready to make him one of the club’s highest-earners.
The offer of £250,000 per week would have put him close to top earner Mesut Ozil on the wage bill.
However, Arsenal’s plan was ruined due to the fall in revenue due to the lack of match action.
Arsenal, like most Premier League clubs, will operate on a reduced budget amid the current financial uncertainties.
The Gunners have faced a turbulent few weeks resolving the situations of several current first-team players.
Talks with David Luiz over a new deal took longer than expected but both club and player eventually reached an agreement.
What’s more, Pablo Mari has signed a new long-term contract, after serious doubts due to his injury.
ARSENAL CLOSE TO BUKAYO SAKA AGREEMENT
Elsewhere, Arteta has confirmed that Arsenal are close to tying full-back Bukayo Saka down to a new contract.
Reports in recent months claim Liverpool want the youngster, whose current deal runs out next summer.
Arteta said: “I am very positive that everything is going to be done with Bukayo very shortly.
“The communication between the club, agents and the family has been going on for months and is very fluent.”
Saka has played an important role for Arsenal this season in the absence of Kieran Tierney.
Tierney has spent most of the season on the sidelines through injury.