Willian says Chelsea snubbed him despite having Frank Lampard's backing

Arsenal unveil new signing Willian on August 14, 2020 in London, England.

Willian has opened up on his departure from Chelsea, calling it the club's fault after receiving the backing from Frank Lampard.

The Brazil international called time on seven years at Stamford Bridge following his move from Shakhtar in 2013.

And Arsenal have moved to snap up the forward on a free transfer, despite being Chelsea's big London rivals.

It comes after failed contract negotiations between Willian and the Blues.

Chelsea were only prepared to give the 32-year-old a two-year contract but he demanded three.

Stamford Bridge chiefs were reluctant to give him a deal that would have seen him earning over £100,000-a-week at the age of 35.

And Willian has insisted it was the club that forced him out, rather than Lampard.

“They thought because I was coming to the age of 32 they couldn’t give me a three-year contract," he said.

“I felt I had proved my fitness, that I was as good as ever and that I deserved that deal.

“Frank Lampard wanted me to stay. He was picking me in more games than I’d probably ever started there.

“Before, I was playing two games then being left on the bench, which I know is part of football, but I was enjoying myself playing more."

Prior to Willian's departure, Lampard insisted he would not begrudge the player joining Arsenal.

He said: “Mine and his relationship is very close and I would have no feeling of disappointment if he does move on.

"He is a fantastic man and a fantastic player. I think he will feel like that about Chelsea.

"I will leave him to say his own words. But I don’t want anyone to try to find a negative attitude.

"The club have acted very well in this as well. If he moves on I personally will wish him well. That is where we are at.

“When a player is out of contract they have the freedom and the right to play wherever they want.

"You have to understand that if they stay in the league and it is a player of Willian’s quality, then they will go and contribute to that team.

"We have to accept that and move on. I have no problems with that.”
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