Arsenal have made a formal three-years contract to Chelsea winger Willian who will become a free agent at the end of the month.
The offer has put the Gunners in front of other clubs in the race to sign the Brazilian forward.
Willian who recently turned down a two-year contract extension at Chelsea is keen to join Mikel Arteta’s rejuvenated Arsenal and the chance to work with fellow Brazilian Edu.
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.
Despite wanting the 31-year-old to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have refused to offer more than a further two years – and the chances of him being a Chelsea player when the new season begins in five weeks now look remote.
Willian made 47 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions and finished the season in fine form with four Premier League goals after the restart.
Compatriot, Phillipe Coutinho who is also heavily linked with a move to North London may have to find a new destination because of financial reasons.
According to the Mirror, Arsenal will not sign Coutinho from Barcelona despite the player being offered to the club by the Catalan giants.
Both players are represented by super-agent Kia Joorabchian who has a close working relationship with Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi and director of football, Edu Gasper.
Willian, 31, is the cheaper option of the two players, and an individual Arteta is keen to bring in even if only for one season.
Arsenal reportedly do not have the money to sign both players, meaning as soon as the Willian deal is finalised, Coutinho will have to consider other clubs.
Barcelona initially offered Coutinho to Arsenal as part of a swap deal for Matteo Guendouzi. The Gunners were also required to pay £7million.
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