Arsenal’s hopes of signing Willian may hinge on the transfer progress of a current Emirates outcast, according to reports.
Arsenal are increasingly looking like the most likely team to secure Brazilian free agent Willian this summer.
As reported by The Guardian earlier this week, the 31-year-old has rejected a two-year offer from Chelsea and is now looking to sign a three-year deal with the Gunners.
However, Arsenal need to clear the decks first before they can secure Willian’s signature, as the Brazilian will demand a hefty wage.
As reported by The Sun, Arsenal must first secure the exit of Henrikh Mkhitaryan before they can bring in Willian.
The report claims that Arsenal are willing to give Willian a £130,000-a-week contract with the club but that Armenian playmaker Mkhitaryan, who is on £180,000-a-week, must leave first.
Arsenal have an initial agreement in place with Roma, where Mkhitaryan has enjoyed a loan spell, and once that is ratified there will seemingly be room in the budget for Willian.
Coincidentally, Willian and Mkhitaryan are former team-mates at Shakhtar Donetsk, with both players leaving the Ukrainian club in 2013.
Now, Arsenal are relying on Willian’s old pal to secure his Italian move so they can finally secure the signature of this long-rumoured transfer target this summer.