To clarify all the recent speculation about his future at Stamford Bridge, Willian has confirmed that he will be leaving Chelsea when his current deal expires.
His future has dominated headlines in recent weeks with negotiations for a new deal hitting the rocks several times. The Brazilian wanted a three-year deal but Chelsea were unwilling to yield to his demand. This was largely due to their policy for players aged 30 and above.
While no official announcement has been made by Chelsea, the ex-Anzhi man has taken to social media to say his goodbyes.
View this post on Instagram
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FANS OF CHELSEA FOOTBALL CLUB . . They were seven wonderful years. In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play. Today I am certain that it was the best of decisions. There were so many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense. . . Yet, beyond the trophies, I learnt a lot about myself. I developed a great deal, becoming a better player and a better person. With each training session, with each game, with every minute spent in the dressing room, I was always learning. . . I am really grateful to the Chelsea fans for the affectionate way they welcomed me at Stamford Bridge and their support throughout my time at the club. There was also criticism, which is normal, what is important though is that both the affection and criticism drove me to always give my all in every training session, every game, to be constantly improving until my very last minute in a Chelsea shirt! . . The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my teammates. I will miss all the staff at the club who’ve always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans. I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt! . . My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you and God bless you! . Willian Borges da Silva
Willian joined Chelsea in 2013 from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for a fee of £30 million. He was set for a move to London rivals Tottenham before the Blues’ late intervention.
Across the next seven seasons, he would go on to feature 339 times for the west London outfit, scoring 63 goals in the process.
What next for Willian?
Willian has always been a man in demand throughout his time at Chelsea. Barcelona have tried to sign him on multiple occasions all to no avail. As Willian departs, he will be faced with picking from a host of clubs that are interested in him.
Kia Joorachbian, his agent, confirmed that as many as five clubs were interested in him. However, he looks set for a move to Arsenal. The Gunners have reportedly reached an agreement for his transfer ahead of next season.
He would be teammates with David Luiz who together, they co-own a restaurant in the English capital. Luiz also ditched Stamford Bridge for the Emirates last summer.
His move to Arsenal would certainly help Mikel Arteta as he continues his rebuilding process. Having already amassed a great deal of Premier League experience, adaptability to life at Arsenal shouldn’t be a problem.
Willian joins Pedro on the list of departures this summer as Frank Lampard kicks off his long-term project at the helm of affairs.