ESPN Brasil today features a very interesting piece about Willian’s new contract with Arsenal, which was announced by the Gunners last Friday.
Signed by two of the outlet’s most important journalists, João Castello Branco and Gustavo Hoffman, the story has some details on why the player chose to leave Chelsea and join their London rivals.
With Willian’s deal at Chelsea expiring this summer, it’s claimed that the Blues took too long to speak to him regarding a new contract. And when they did, they offered him a two-year deal saying that’s all they could do.
There was no room for negotiation, and that’s why the winger felt like that was a staged meeting, with no real intention of keeping him at the club.
It’s said Willian felt ‘surprised’ with Chelsea’s action, because he didn’t want to leave them. And given he was looking for a three-year contract, he started to listen to other offers.
Following the pandemic break, the Blues only contacted Willian’s agent Kia Joorabchian to speak about the renewal until the end of the season, and a new contract was never mentioned again.
ESPN Brasil says that Barcelona were one of the clubs who made him an offer, along with Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Manchester United. But all of them offered him two-year deals.
Even though the English press said Tottenham Hotspur were also after him, the report says José Mourinho’s side never really made contact for his signing.
According to ESPN, there are two main reasons Willian chose Arsenal. One of them is his family’s wish to stay in London, where they’re fully adapted.
The other one is the good relationship with Edu Gaspar. The Brazilian now has more power to build the squad, and is starting to change the club’s policy regarding long-term contracts.
It’s also claimed that Kia Joorabchian’s influence is decreasing at Chelsea and growing at Arsenal, and that made the transfer a lot easier.