Arsenal have completed the signing of Brazil winger Willian on a three-year deal following his departure from Chelsea.
The Brazil forward, who turned 32 on Sunday, was out of contract following a seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge.
Willian won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup and the Europa League with Chelsea and said he would depart with his “head held high”.
OPINION: Willian to Arsenal defined by four difficult digits
There had been lots of speculation that Willian will join Arsenal this summer on a free transfer after the Blues refused to give him the three-year contract that he wanted.
And the Daily Mail claims that Willian ‘will earn an astonishing £220,000 a week at Arsenal’ as the winger is ‘rewarded handsomely’ by his new club.
The report adds that – despite his basic salary being lower than at Chelsea – a huge signing-on fee, bonuses and loyalty payments could take Arsenal’s spend on Willian to £35m over the three-year period.
The contract is ‘set to feature an option for a fourth year’ with a source revealing further details to the newspaper.
‘He would have got nowhere near that money at Chelsea,’ a source told the Daily 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.’
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted he was impressed by Willian’s desire to join the north London club.
“I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us,” said Arteta.
“We have been monitoring him for the past few months, we had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions. He is a player that gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions.
“He has the experience of everything in the football world but still has the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs.
“I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.”
Willian helped Chelsea to two Premier League titles, one FA Cup triumph and the 2019 Europa League, where the Blues thumped Arsenal 4-1 in Baku.
The former Corinthians player was forced to watch on when Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 in this year’s FA Cup final however, missing out through a troublesome ankle problem.
Willian will wear the number 12 shirt at Arsenal.
Arsenal’s technical director Edu said: “I know him very well, since a long time ago because we’ve been working together for the Brazilian national team and of course I was following him because he played for another club.
“He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character. I’m 100 per cent sure that everybody in the dressing room, the fans, myself and Mikel will enjoy having Willian in our side.”