Arsenal offered Chelsea ace Willian as Aubameyang replacement – with Gunners almost certain to cash in while they can – The Sun
ARSENAL have been offered the chance to sign Chelsea winger Willian as a cut-price replacement for skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
But the Gunners are now balking at Willian’s contract demands — as he prepares to quit Stamford Bridge as a free agent.
The Brazilian ace is understood to be demanding a three-year deal which matches his current £120,000-a-week salary.
Cash-strapped Arsenal are reluctant to tie themselves to such a long-term agreement for a player who will be 32 in August.
But Willian’s agent Kia Joorabchian has become an increasingly influential figure at the Emirates over the past year.
He also represents the Gunners’ technical director Edu — and negotiated the signings of David Luiz and the on-loan Cedric Soares.
Now he is looking to secure one final lucrative deal for a player who cost Chelsea £32million when he joined them from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala back in 2013.
Willian has already rejected the offer of a two-year deal from Chelsea — and is also attracting interest from both Liverpool and Inter Milan.
But he is open to a move which would allow him to remain in London and could yet be open to lowering his demands to keep Arsenal interested.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta knows he will now almost certainly have to sell skipper Aubameyang this summer.
The £60m Gabon striker is about to enter the final year of his Emirates contract — and has rebuffed all the club’s efforts to extend his stay.
So Arsenal will look to sell their 20-goal top scorer for £30million this summer rather than lose him for nothing next year.
With the threat of a fourth successive season out of the Champions League looming, Arsenal have already agreed a 12.5 per cent pay cut with most of their players to tide them through the coronavirus pandemic.
Now former Gunners midfielder Arteta is facing a major issue to overhaul his squad — and with a severely restricted transfer budget — which is what makes Willian such an attractive short-term proposition.
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