Willian confirms Chelsea exit as Arsenal near signing of the winger on free tranfer
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According to Sky Sport, Willian has confirmed he is leaving Chelsea, with Arsenal close to completing his signing on a three-year deal. The 32-year-old leaves Stamford Bridge at the end of his contract after a seven-year spell, with Chelsea only willing to offer him a two-year deal rather than the player's desired three years.
“The time has now come to move on,” he wrote in an open letter to Chelsea supporters on Twitter. “I am certainly going to miss my team-mates. I will miss all the staff at the club who’ve always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans.
They were seven wonderful years. In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play," he wrote.
"Today I am certain that it was the best of decisions. There were so many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense.
"Yet, beyond the trophies, I learned a lot about myself. I developed a great deal, becoming a better player and a better person.
"With each training session, with each game, with every minute spent in the dressing room, I was always learning. I am really grateful to the Chelsea fans for the affectionate way they welcomed me at Stamford Bridge and their support throughout my time at the club.
"There was also criticism, which is normal, what is important though is that both the affection and criticism drove me to always give my all in every training session, every game, to be constantly improving until my very last minute in a Chelsea shirt!
"The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my team-mates. I will miss all the staff at the club who've always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans.
"I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here, and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt! My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you and God bless you!"
Chelsea did not push harder to keep the 32-year-old star
According to Talksport, Willian has reportedly been left feeling ‘upset and offended’ as his seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge nears its end and Arsenal near signing of the winger on a free transfer. The 32-year-old has allegedly agreed a three-year contract join Arsenal after talks over a new deal to remain at Stamford Bridge fell through.
The Brazilian made it clear he wanted a three-year extension, but Blues director Marina Granovskaia was reluctant to give in to his demands before the coronavirus crisis brought a halt to the season. According to ESPN, Willian feels the club could have tried harder to keep him and he’s ‘upset and even offended’ after he was offered a ‘take it or leave it’ two-year contract.
According to The Guardian, Willian, who has been struggling with an ankle injury, missed last weekend’s FA Cup final loss to Arsenal, as well as Saturday’s Champions League exit at Bayern Munich.
Having turned down Tottenham to join Chelsea from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013, he scored 63 goals in 339 appearances. Reports suggest he could remain in London, playing under Mikel Arteta at the Emirates Stadium.
Willian is not the only forward leaving Chelsea, with Pedro on his way to Italy. The Spaniard, who is set to join Roma on a free transfer, also bid a fond farewell to his current employers.
“After five wonderful years my stage at Chelsea FC comes to an end,” he wrote on Instagram. “It’s been a pleasure and an honor to play for this club and win the Premier League, FA Cup, and Europa League titles, as well as competing in one of the world’s best football leagues. I made the right choice, I take with me wonderful and unforgettable memories.
“I say farewell very pleased with this stage of my career, and I’m also very excited with the next to begin. Thanks and good luck for the future.”
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