Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Arsenal are discussing the possibility of letting Willian leave the club this summer.
Signed last summer on a three-year deal, to much fanfare from the manager, the Gunners are now ready to cut their losses after the 33-year-old’s underwhelming first season at the Emirates.
Rumours circulated earlier in the week that his former club Corinthians – with whom technical director Edu and agent Kia Joorabchian both have close links – are ready to welcome the player back to Brazil.
“We are having conversations with him and the agent and we are evaluating the position that we are in at the moment,” said Arteta when asked about Willian’s future.
“At the moment, he’s an Arsenal player and we’re trying to get the best out of him when he’s here. Anything different is maybe just things that can happen.”
Willian tested positive for Covid-19 after the pre-season defeat to Chelsea and hasn’t been part of a matchday squad this season.
Arteta was also pressed on whether there might be other comings and goings before the transfer window closes next week.
“We don’t know, we’ve already done a lot of things, ins and outs, a lot,” he said.
“I think it’s 16 or 17 deals in total, including renewals, which is a lot of things. There are still some things to do in the last few days because there are still some question marks and deals that can happen, but we’ll see.”
He went on to dismiss a story linking Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a move to Manchester City – “he will remain here,” he said – but was coy on the future of Sead Kolasinac who started last night’s win over West Brom.
On the Bosnian playing the full 90 minutes, he said: “It’s an indication that every player who is with us, who is training and behaving the way that Sead is, when we have the possibility to give them minutes, we want to be fair. He’s our player, we treat him exactly the same way and then we’ll see what happens. At the moment, he stays because he’s our player.”