Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta confirms Willian is set to join Corinthians

Mikel Arteta confirms Willian exit talks as he edges closer to a Brazil return with Corinthians just a year after joining Arsenal from Chelsea… and the Gunners boss hints at more signings despite already splashing out £129m

  • Willian joined Arsenal on a three-year deal for free from Chelsea last summer 
  • Talks are in an advanced stage with all parties willing to see the deal completed
  • The Brazilian has failed to make it on to the Arsenal bench so far this season
  • Mikel Arteta hinted the door was open to more signings despite five new arrivals

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Willian has held talks with Corinthians over a return to Brazil just 12 months after joining the Gunners.

Sportsmail revealed earlier this week that the former Chelsea star was in talks to join the Brazilian side on a free transfer. 

Discussions were understood to be at an advanced stage with a willingness from all parties to complete a deal and now Arteta has confirmed the news.

Mikel Arteta (right) has confirmed that Willian (left) has held talks with Corinthians over a move

Willian was signed as a free agent last summer on a three-year deal but has experienced an unsuccessful spell at the Emirates. 

He made 37 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring just one goal and providing five assists.  

Arsenal are expected to let the midfielder leave for free if a deal is agreed as they are keen to offload his £190,000-per-week salary from the wage books. 

However, Arteta insisted that the 33-year-old’s future is not set in stone.  

Willian was signed for Arsenal as a free agent last summer on a three-year deal from Chelsea

The 33-year-old has had an unsuccessful spell at the Emirates and Arsenal want to offload him

‘We are having some conversations with him and the agent, and we are evaluating the position that we are in at the moment,’ Arteta said. 

‘I don’t know [why it hasn’t worked out for him here].

‘At the moment he is an Arsenal player, and we are trying to get the best out of him while he is here. Anything different is just things that can happen.’

Arsenal are the biggest spenders of the Premier League in this transfer window, having splashed out £129million on Sambi Lokonga, Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Nuno Tavares. 

Ben White (right) was one of five new arrivals at Arsenal this summer costing £50m

However, the Gunners boss hasn’t ruled out the possibility of more arrivals in north London before the transfer window shuts next week.   

‘We don’t know [if we will make more signings],’ he said.

‘We’ve already done a lot of things – ins and outs – I think it is 16 or 17 deals in total, with some renewals, which is a lot of things.

‘There are still some things to do in the last few days because there are still some questions marks and deals that can happen, but we will see.’

Arsenal slipped to two successive defeats in the start to their 2021-22 Premier League campaign, making it their worst start to a season in their 118-year history. 

Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring on Sunday as Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 in the league

However, Arteta’s men rallied to redeem themselves on Wednesday night as they mauled Championship side West Brom 6-0 in the second round of the Carabao Cup.  

The Gunners face reigning champions Manchester City at the weekend as they look to secure their first league win of the season. 

Bukayo Saka picked up a knock in their thrashing of West Brom and Arteta confirmed that the 19-year-old would be checked over ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Etihad.

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