Arsenal announce they have terminated Willian’s contract after just 12 months at the club… as former Chelsea star foregoes remainder of £220,000 per week deal to move back to Corinthians in his native Brazil
- Willian joined Arsenal on a free transfer just last summer after leaving Chelsea
- But he struggled in 2020-21, managing just one goal in 37 Gunners appearances
- Corinthians have been interested in signing him but wages have been an issue
- But the Brazilian has now terminated his deal and will forego the rest of his deal
Arsenal have confirmed the club have mutually terminated Willian’s contract after a disastrous 12 months in north London.
The Brazilian joined Mikel Arteta’s side on a free transfer last summer but struggled in 2020-21, scoring just once in 37 appearances.
Arsenal have been actively looking to offload Willian this summer and Corinthians have been interested in ending his Gunners nightmare.
Arsenal have confirmed the club have mutually terminated winger Willian’s contract
The Brazilian only joined Mikel Arteta’s side last summer but will now join Corinthians
But his wages – believed to be more than £220,000 per week at the Emirates Stadium – had proved to be an obvious stumbling point in negotiations.
The former Chelsea star is set to complete a move back to his native Brazil after the two parties reached an agreement to terminate the remaining two years left on his contract, saving the club around £20million in wages.
In a statement, Arsenal said: ‘We have reached a mutual agreement with Willian to terminate his contract effective from today.
‘The Brazil international joined us from Chelsea last August and made 38 appearances during the 2020/21 campaign.
‘He had two more years to run on his contract but following positive and constructive recent discussions with him and his team, he will be leaving for a new opportunity with Corinthians in Brazil, where he began his career.
He scored just once in 37 appearances last season in a disastrous campaign for the Gunners
‘Everyone at Arsenal wishes Willian and his family well for the future.
The 33-year-old has already agreed a contract with Corinthians to keep him tied to the Brazilian club until 2023, and hopes to force his way back into the national team squad ahead of next year’s World Cup.
The move ends Willian’s eight-year stay in England, where he won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup crown and the 2018-19 Europa League while at Stamford Bridge.
The Brazilian – who also netted 63 goals as a Blues player – is expected to be one of several departures at Arsenal before the transfer window slams shut on Tuesday night.
Fellow winger Reiss Nelson is due to join Feyenoord on loan after extending his Gunners deal for a further season, while the future of Hector Bellerin is yet to be decided.
Fellow winger Reiss Nelson looks set to follow him out of the exit door with a loan to Feyenoord
However, Ainsley Maitland-Niles looks unlikely to be heading out the exit door after boss Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu blocked a move to Everton.
Sportsmail understands the versatile midfielder was told in an hastily-arranged face-to-face meeting that he was no longer allowed to go, just hours after news of a potential switch to Everton had gathered pace.
The meeting was called after Maitland-Niles publicly expressed his disappointment at not being allowed to leave for Everton on social media.
‘All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play,’ wrote Maitland-Niles on Instagram.