Arsenal winger Willian is reportedly wanted by Brazilian club Corinthians but would prefer to continue his career in Europe.
The 33-year-old has no future at the Emirates Stadium after being told he is not part of Mikel Arteta’s plans. He joined the Gunners last summer following seven seasons with London rivals Chelsea. But despite being a mainstay of the Blues side over 339 games, he has failed to hit the heights for Arsenal.
The Brazil international made only 16 starts among 25 Premier League appearances and scored just one goal. While never prolific for the west Londoners, he did net 63 times, including 37 in the league.
Niggling injuries hampered his progress last term but he was unable to reproduce his Chelsea form. The South American was linked with an exit as soon as the season ended in May.
He still has two years of his three-year deal to run, however. The attacking midfielder began his career with Corinthians, making 41 appearances before trying his luck in Europe.
However, it was not a traditional route he took, beginning with a six-year spell at Shakhtar Donetsk. The South American left Ukraine for Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.
But injuries plus the club’s financial implosion limited him to just 17 outings in all competitions. Chelsea paid £30m for his signature in August 2013 and it proved money well spent.
He was part of two Premier League-winning sides at Stamford Bridge while securing the FA Cup. The man with 70 Brazil caps also pocketed an EFL Cup-winner’s medal while claiming the 2018-19 Europa League.
False claims over Willian Middle East move
Willian’s representatives are actively looking for a new club. Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli were said to be keen but those reports were soon shot down.
He missed the weekend’s 2-0 loss to Chelsea after testing positive for COVID-19 and is unlikely to play for the club again. His wages are a huge stumbling block to a summer exit, with the winger said to earn £100,00 per week.
That is a considerable sum for a 33-year-old in the twilight years of his career. It may need the Brazilian to take a pay cut if he is to achieve his desire of staying in the northern hemisphere.