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Former Chelsea winger Willian stands to earn £35million over three years at Arsenal after agreeing a deal with the Gunners that will effectively see him earn £220,000-a-week.
The Gunners expect to announce the capture of the 32-year-old this weekend following Willian’s exit from Chelsea this week.
Willian had been happy to stay at Stamford Bridge but the Blues were unwilling to hand him the three-year deal he craved.
Arsenal were willing to do so and the Gunners agreed a basic salary with Willian of around £100,000-a-week, which is a dip on the £120,000-a-week he earned in west London.
However, the Daily Mail claim that Willian was persuaded to join the Gunners after the offer of a huge signing-on fee that will significantly boost his basic weekly salary.
Once this figure is taken into account alongside other ‘loyalty’ bonuses and appearance fees, it’s claimed Willian will earn around £220,000-a-week.
‘He would have got nowhere near that money at Chelsea,’ a source told the Mail.
‘The signing-on fee reflects that it is a free transfer and if he sees out the duration it’s a great deal for him.’
That would make him the second highest earner at the club behind Mesut Ozil and the deal raises question marks over Arsenal’s recent decision to make 55 employees redundant.
The news was widely criticised and it’s even claimed Arsenal pushed back the announcement of Willian’s arrival as it reflected poorly on the club.
Even more bizarrely is the claim that the 32-year-old’s deal will include the option of a fourth year and the deal is bound to raise eyebrows.
Mikel Arteta is likely to offload a number of fringe players following Willian’s arrival in a bid to balance the books.
The Spaniard has been told he must sale before he can but this summer and the likes of Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi, Sead Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Rob Holding have been put up for sale.
Should the Gunners make a number of sales, they will reconsider their indifference at paying the £45m release clause in Thomas Partey’s contract at Atletico Madrid.
The Gunners had decided against doing so, preferring to offer the likes of Guendouzi in exchange instead. But their budget this summer is dependent upon the amount of players they can sale.