Arsenal have submitted a formal three-year contract offer to Willian, edging them to the front of the race to sign the Brazilian forward.
The 31-year-old will be a free agent once Chelsea’s Champions League campaign concludes this month after rejecting the chance to sign a new two-year deal at Stamford Bridge.
Joining Mikel Arteta’s rejuvenated side and the chance to work with fellow Brazilian Edu are the reasons Arsenal are favourites to secure Willian’s signature. The Gunners have made a formal three-year contract offer to Willian, still some way short of the terms offered by Barcelona and Inter Miami.
Sky Sports say Arsenal are now at the front of the queue to land the Brazilian.
The Gunners are understood to have offered him a deal which runs until 2023.
The contract offer submitted by Arsenal would reportedly see him earn over £100,000-a-week.
The possible arrival of Willian comes as the club prepares to lay off 55 staff.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Arsenal insisted the decision to cut jobs is necessary due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the club’s finances.
in spite of the club announcement, they assured supporters that investment into the team will continue as they aim to compete ‘effectively at the top of the game here and in Europe’.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have been working hard to ensure that Arsenal Football Club emerges in a robust and strong position for the future,” the Arsenal statement read.
“In line with other football clubs and many other businesses operating in the sport, leisure, and entertainment arena, we have been impacted directly by COVID-19.
“Our main sources of income have all reduced significantly. Revenue from broadcasters, matchday and commercial activities have all been hit severely and these impacts will continue into at least the forthcoming 2020/21 season.
“Over recent years we have consistently invested in additional staff to take the club forward but with the expected reduction of income in mind, it is now clear that we must reduce our costs further to ensure we are operating in a sustainable and responsible way, and to enable us to continue to invest in the team.
“Our aim has been to protect the jobs and base salaries of our people for as long as we possibly can. Unfortunately, we have now come to the point where we are proposing 55 redundancies.”