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Arsenal step forward for Willian — reports

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Here they go?

Arsenal FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Willian looks another step closer to his Chelsea exit, with multiple reports this morning of him rejecting a two-year extension offer from the club. It’s unclear if this is the same offer and rejection as reported before, or if it’s a new offer and rejection, or if it’s a new offer and the same rejection, or the same offer and new rejection, or ... well, you get the picture.

The point is, Chelsea have already budged (from the one-year typical offer) and are not budging any further (than the two-year exception). But Willian’s not coming down from his three-year demand.

Who might offer him that long? Inter Miami in MLS apparently were, but Willian’s not interested in retiring yet. Barcelona were rumored, but what Willian seems to prefer is a bit closer to his home in London.

Step forward, Arsenal. According to Fabrizio Romano, the Gunners are now “in talks” over a contract. Others, like France Football, have gone a step further and claimed that things are “very advanced”, with the FA Cup winners making the best offer, both in terms of financials and in terms of length — Willian may even be asking for an option for a fourth year, in fact!

Willian may be good and useful still, but that sure is a high price and a long commitment to a player six days shy of his 32nd birthday. We start to see why Chelsea would’ve drawn a hard line and stay the course with the rebuilding.