ESPN Brasil reporter Jorge Nicola has said that Arsenal have the slight advantage in the race to sign Chelsea forward Willian on a free transfer at the end of the season.
The Brazil international is currently in his seventh campaign with the Blues and he has been a solid performer with 59 goals and 59 assists from 321 appearances across all competitions.
Still, he appears likely to head through the exit door when his contract expires this summer, given the west London side have been reluctant to meet his demands for a three-year deal.
A number of Premier League sides including Liverpool have been credited with an interest in Willian but Nicola feels the Gunners are leading the pursuit of the winger.
“Arsenal are a little ahead today, but everything is still open. Especially because the pandemic affected the entire financial reality of football in the world,” he told in his Youtube Channel.
Meanwhile, Nicola said that David Luiz’s close relationship with Willian could benefit the Gunners’ prospects of signing the 31-year-old in either a two or three-year contract.
The Gunners have plenty of young talent in their ranks and Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe are some of the forward players, who could have bright futures ahead of them.
Still, they are lacking the presence of an experienced player to compete with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe for the wide attacking roles and Willian could prove the ideal fit.
Aubameyang’s future with the club continues to remain doubtful with his contract expiring in less than 14 months’ time and Willian could potentially take up the left wing position in case the Gabonese leaves.
Willian, who is currently on a £120,000-a-week salary, has bagged seven goals and six assists for Chelsea this season.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com