Report: Arsenal interested in free agent Willian?

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According to Le10sport, Chelsea midfielder Willian will not renew his current contract at Stamford Bridge alerting a number of clubs, including Arsenal, to his availability on a free deal this summer.

Paris Saint Germain and Manchester United are also said to be keeping tabs on the 31-year-old Brazil international who is on the hunt for one last big payday in Europe.

Willian has made over 300 appearances for the Blues since signing in 2013, scoring 58 times and making 58 assists in a spell that has seen him collect two Premier League medals, the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League.

Any Arsenal interest is likely linked with the fact that he’s represented by Sports Invest UK; run by Kia Joorabchian, a close associate of our technical director Edu.

Joorabchian’s relationship with Edu, ongoing since the latter took a boardroom role at Corinthians, has already helped Joorabchian place David Luiz and Cedric Soares at Arsenal in the last seven months. PSG’s Layvin Kurzawa, also linked in January, is another of his clients.

The Iranian-born businessman is a long-standing Arsenal fan and watched yesterday’s win over West Ham from the directors’ box. Edu’s daughter even captured him celebrating Lacazette’s goal with vigour.

Throughout his time in charge, Arsene Wenger seemed to go out of his way to avoid doing business with Joorabchian and other ‘super agents’. That has now changed.

While the Gunners continue to put an emphasis on global scouting, there’s no hiding that contact books have been increasingly important in recent windows.

Pablo Mari’s arrival from Flamengo in January was smoothed by Raul Sanllehi’s relationship with his agent and our Head of Football’s links with Lille’s president Gerard Lopez and Sporting Director Marc Ingla also helped us get the Nicolas Pepe deal over the line – with some help from middleman Jorge Mendes who earned a significant fee for his part in the deal.

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For more on Kia Joorabchian’s relationship with Edu, this is a cracking read by @Gunnerblog in The Athletic (£).

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Reality check

Early April fools day or are we becoming a retirement home for long serving Chelsea players..

Atom

This would be an awful signing – huge wages and we already have Reiss/Pepe/Saka etc

Reginald

You definitely took that from my mouth. I was readying to make thesame comment. We should do better than being a retiring team for Chelsea players

Neil Bamford

I hear what you’re saying but if we don’t make champions league these are the kind of players we will need. I’d take him at the right price, especially if Ceballos leaves. I see him more as an attacking midfielder and he would be able to link play up well.

Willock isn’t the real deal yet so I think a player like this would be worth it until these other players start coming of age. I think it would be a good signing… at the right price

Rob67

Those crucial words – “on the hunt for one last big pay day” – say it all.

No thanks. Promote our young players, who will provide infinitely better value and not be just, marking time.

cagooner

I disagree. He is a TOP premier league player and a significant upgrade on Pepe. I really wish it weren’t the case, but sadly, it is.

Billy

I like him, but I’m not sure a significant upgrade is accurate. We’ve only scratched the surface of Pepe, really though I do think willian is a great player and would take him myself.

Martin

He’s nowhere near the class of Pepe now. We have a great winger who is improving every match and is destined to be a sensation. Remember players like Pires took a whole season before we saw the best of him.

Berlingoon

Rather take Giroud back. If we can extend Auba’s deal, I guess we have to sell Laca, so getting Oli back to bolster the squad wouldn’t be a bad thing imo.

Martin

Why do we have to sell last seasons player of the year who will be back to form soon

Berlingoon

because we’re facing the possibility of a 4th year without CL money and if Auba extends, he will surely get a pay rise and we’re already in financial problems now. Have to save some wages and try to get money in by selling players. And if you pay Auba 300.000 a week, you should play him thorough the middle, which leaves Laca as a very expensive plan B. And you can’t sell him for more with 2 years left on his contract, than next year with 12 months left.

Chinaman

We dont need more replacements. The squad has plenty of players. Currently Martinelli isnt getting any game time. Willock, Guendouzi are fighting it out for bench spots. We also have Smith-Rowe coming back from a loan spell

Berlingoon

Need more than 1 senior player in attack. If Aubameyang gets injured, you can’t play with kids for weeks, regardless how good they are, if you want to seriously challenge for a CL spot.

Chinaman

On the other hand, you cant stockpile kids & expect them to remain at the club. If Saka signs a new deal, it’ll be based on some assurances from the club. Martinelli is too good to send on loan. Nelson, Nketiah, Smith-Rowe have done their share of loan deals so need to play or be sold. Either way some hard decisions need to be taken in the summer

Pakgooner

No

Bobby's Beard

Would take him for a couple seasons tbh, can’t be too fussy this summer!

HelderHughes

Yey! Let’s be as good as Chelsea don’t want to be.

Burlington

To be fair Chelsea have our unwanted striker leading their line, so it’s not all one way.

(for the record I was a big Giroud fan and wanted to keep him, but that’s not the point here).

HelderHughes

He’s definitely having a purple patch at the moment. But Silvestre, Mhki, Cech, Welbeck…

You only ever really get a half decent player buying the rivals cast offs.

Plus if we want Saka to sign up, he needs a clear run at the first team.

HelderHughes

Can’t believe I forgot David Luiz.

Martin

As Welbeck and Cech were great players for us it’s odd that you consider them to be failures. Even Mkhitaryan played some good matches.

HelderHughes

Great? Thierry was great. Cesc was great. Welbeck was ok. Cech was good ish.

C.B.

No, would rather have Saka, Martinelli etc signed up.

C.B.

And Mari and Ceballos too.

HelderHughes

No to Ceballos for my money. Especially at £50m as was rumoured at the beginning of the campaign.

Atom

He’s not remotely worth 50 m but if real recognize they have to sell if they want to buy thanks to FFP & can’t simply name their price for players they don’t want, Ceballos could be a solid addition for us. He brings something our other midfielders don’t and for the right price (25-30m tops) he’s worth signing.

HelderHughes

The mark of a successful loan spell should be that we are fighting off other clubs for his signature. Who actually wants Ceballos apart from us?

Atom

I know he’s playing better but for my money Xhaka is still way too immobile to be part of a midfield challenging for more than 4th place. We need to totally rebuild our midfield next year and should learn from the Liverpool data driven team construction imo that a functional midfield that allows the front 3 more freedom can work just as well if not better than playing a true number 10. Ceballos / Torreira and a new player could make a solid base for us.

HelderHughes

I agree. I think let Xhaka leave for £30m and let Ceballos return to Real. Buy Doucoure if at all possible and then look for another Arteta suggestion of a player he can sculpt into a good CM. We’ve got Torreira, Guendouzi and Willock to push them for places too.

Atom

There’s been a real glow around the team thanks to Emery simply being gone and how bad things had gotten under him. I really like Arteta and believe he is going to turn out to be a really astute choice on our part even if he largely was appointed due to a lack of real options. That said we have quite a few players who flat out aren’t playing all that well if we look at them objectively and need to be replaced. Luiz/Ozil/Xhaka aren’t good enough to be starting on a team with aspirations of winning major silverware. I’m… Read more »

HelderHughes

I know it’s difficult to pull off sales but I think the following really need to move on…

Mustafi
Sokratis
AMN
Ozil
Lacazette
Mhkitaryan
Xhaka
Kolasinac
Ceballos
Holding (loan)
Willock (loan)
Luiz (provided we get cover)

At a conservative estimate there is £150m there and a massive swipe off the wage bill too.

I know it’ll never happen but we can dream.

Matthinc

Ceballos has been really good these last few weeks, a definite upgrade, we should def keep if it’s for 30m or less. And can’t believe you think Laca should be moved on. He is quality and has grafted and created goals from nothing for us for two years. He’s had a dip post being run into the ground trying to haul the team forward under Emery is all.

HelderHughes

Third season at the club and he still hasn’t bagged 20 goals in a season. For £55m that’s not good enough. He’s 28 and still could command a substantial figure. The time is right to move on.

Torterrier

I really don’t think Ceballos has done much more in the past couple of weeks than Torreira was doing to be brutally honest.

Gunner0304

We won’t be able to replace all of them. So keep; Kolasinac, Holding, Willock and Luiz (for experience). Laca, Mustafi and Xhaka will bring us descent money so we can re-invest. AMN and Mhkitaryan are not good enough and Papa just getting old.

HelderHughes

Agree to all but Kolasinac. With the rise of Saka and return of Tierney it seems unnecessary to keep him as 3rd choice LB, especially when we could get £20m for him.

Even if Saka breaks through into the attack, we can drop him back if necessary and give Martinelli / Nelson / Smith Rowe an advanced position.

Chinaman

The list is too long for one summer. That’s with you missing out on Elneny & Mavropanos

I’d keep Luiz, Xhaka, Willock. Holding only goes on loan if Mari is made a permanent signing.

HelderHughes

We’ve kept Xhaka for season after season because we don’t want to disrupt the first team too much. When are we going to be able to get rid? Every window it’s the same story. He’s not good enough to be wedded to our club like this.

Dave M

Yup!! We need modern mobile midfielders, no slow plodder that can pick a pass with time and space. We need Partick vieira…

Torterrier

Reading this thread reminds me of how many duds we have. Quite incredible for a big club really.

sambo

You forgot Elneny in there too. 165m

Chinaman

We did try the data driven method. That’s how Elneny, Gabriel ended up at the club.

atom

3 things on that Chinaman. 1. there’s been a lot of talk about how Wenger simply was using the data as a scapegoat for “marginal” signings. believe Ornstein wrote on that. 2. Gabriel actually had the makings of a decent defender – he was doing relatively well at Valencia for awhile (haven’t followed that closely). The issue really was Wenger was an awful defensive coach in that his theory was pretty much everyone constantly bomb forward and leave the 2 CB’s to hold down the fort for themselves. 3. You’re going to get some misses along with the hits. The… Read more »

Martin

If Ceballos was on the market he would be greatly in demand. Was our best player on Saturday and is beginning to be a crucial member of the team

Dave M

I bet there are stacks of teams who want ceballos. Do you know all current interested parties for all European footballers or did you just buy the latest version of football manager and saw no one was interested in Dani?

HelderHughes

I asked my mate Nathan who used to play in the Swindon Town reserves. He said no takers.

Dave M

Fair enough… I’ve heard only good things about Nathan

Benriz

Oh, fuck off

James

What have we become?

Reginald

Retirement team especially for Chelsea players

Gunner0304

That’s what happens when you are poor. You get left overs

Artetatikitaka

Mkhitaryan and Willian on the wings. 10 years too late, I reckon.

Deano

No thanks, we already have one of their has beens who has had a bang average season for us.

Ayleym

Luiz has been one of better players this season

GraeB

That really doesn’t contradict Deano

Man Manny

China or MLS will be fine son.
Nelson, Pepe, Martinelli and Saka are the way forward. We don’t need another declining cog in the wheel of their progress.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Younger players learn from the older players. Essentially U23 teams aren’t going to win anything at senior level. We’d be fools to dump as many players as people on here are calling for.

Prakhar

Can’t stand the moaning here. A highly agile player and a chance creation machine. Hugely experienced and available for free.
Arsenal are not rich in attacking directness and drive, Willian would slot right in. Not saying its my preference, but I see the tactical fit and logic in our rumoured interest.

Ayleym

I’m with you… I’d have him in a heartbeat

CorporateMan

The man turns mediocre once he joins Arsenal.
Mark my word

Martinelli fanboy

I’d love to have him but every penny we have should go into rejigging our midfield

Vivooty

If we don’t qualify for Champions League he is one of the players we could afford…He is good on creativity and work rate (not excellent) and these are qualities we need…

Futsboller

Great little player, but no thanks.

Chelsea getting younger and looking completely capable in the process. Yikes.

What, the great Ancelotti getting spanked? Can’t be. Can’t be. But he has so much experience … 🙂

goonero

He’s a quality player but I’m not sure we can afford him or that we really need him. ESR, Nelson, Martinelli, Pepe and I suppose you have to count Saka too are enough.

We don’t need more creative wingers, we need creative/goalscoring midfielders and a good striker. We won’t find one player to replace Aubameyangs goals, so we’re going to need to setup the squad so multiple people are contributing.

GraeB

I agree, we need goals from midfield but not sure Will.i.am is the answer.

Houston Gunner

Weird that clubs generally complain about player power but don’t have a problem when they have to give players who don’t sign new deals at their current clubs bumper wages. Happened with Sanchez, Ramsey etc. Probably will happen to Auba too! Pretty sure players saw Sanchez’s packet and figured: I could get that if I don’t sign a contract too quick.

Hantal

Cech didn’t really improve (and arguably cost us Sczeszny)

Luiz hasn’t improved us

Willian won’t improve us.

the only Chelsea player we could need was Giroud the season we sold him

goonerink

kante?

NZGooner

An aging player blocking the likes of Willock, Emie etc, that would make little sense.

DialSquareGoon

No

Alex

We must rely on youth.

Pastor Simon

Where are those crying for Ancelotti’s experience over Arteta..

Be careful what you wished for???

James PEPPER

In the name of God, no.

Badaab

No thanks to Willian. The last thing we need at Arsenal right now is another veteran player who would command huge wages we simply cannot afford. While Willian has been a good player for Chelsea for a number of seasons, his involvement has declined as his pace has slowed with age. Given that we have made it public we are trying to offload older players on huge wages (ie Ozil and Mkhitaryan), and may have to splash the cash to keep Auba at the club, Willian being linked to Arsenal seems like nothing more than agent talk in an attempt… Read more »

Alex

When did the club say they want to offload Özil? Just a wishful thought of some fans but not of the club.

allezkev

Agent inspired speculation.

Cmdn

No, we are not. Even mainstream media would think they are pushing their shit too hard. Not arseblog, will talk about the agents until the fucking end of days. Maybe focus more on our terrible football and Artetas system on display than some fantasy land dealings.

Del Boy

We know where we need to strengthen and it isn’t on the wings

SB Still

Off topic:

What’s wrong with ManC, today’s game was the one they should have been winning and Wednesday’s is the one to be losing. Its a bloody derby!

Also Chelsea thrashed Everton, Europe is looking tough.

Lanre

Going by that game which i saw, no way on earth we are making top 5. Man utd have finally got their shit together and are flying right now. Why can’t Arsenal pass the ball around like that with urgency? Instead our passing is pedestrian lacking intent which then make s for a boring game. On latest evidence, the top 5 spots are pretty much locked down as it is. City are so gonna expose us come londay.. let’s not be in denial.

SB Still

One small hope, while Chelsea is so far, Leicester are only 2 points further ahead. Considering their run in, their CL spot doesn’t seem guaranteed either.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

We don’t have the easiest run in either. Are people forgetting that?

Paul

Bring him home, Corinthians youth product ruined by Chelsea.

jiggernaught

not the type of player we need, priority should lie in midfield, as Ceballos is not the real deal.

OBT

LOL at this rate, we are guaranteed to sign Neymar in 2024 at his peak at 32 years old. Arsenal now the retirement home of the Samba boys. FFS!

RoyalT

Play him in the center as dispose of ozil

Riku

He is Luiz David best friend since childhood, so I think their is a good chSnce of this. We signed mikitarians best friend in p.e.a. william e scored great goal weekend. Does not rely on his pcs.