Willian closes in on Arsenal deal

Willian of Chelsea scores his team's first goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Watford FC at Stamford Bridge on July 04, 2020 in London, England.

Arsenal are close to completing the signing of midfielder Willian from Chelsea on a three-year deal.

Arsenal moved into pole position to sign the Brazil international by offering a three-year contract earlier this week, and are now on the verge of beating off competition from Barcelona and Inter Miami.

Along with the length of the deal, joining Mikel Arteta's rejuvenated side and the chance to work with fellow Brazilian Edu are the reasons Arsenal are favourites to secure Willian's signature.

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.

Frank Lampard has admitted his side need to improve defensively, but that Chelsea would need to sell before they can buy, having already spent big in the attacking areas by bringing in Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.

Willian made 47 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions and finished the season in fine form, with four Premier League goals after the restart taking his tally for the season to nine.

Arsenal's pursuit of Willian comes as they attempt to seal a new deal for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is understood to be close to extending his contract, with his current deal set to expire in the summer of 2021.

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