Willian has decided to leave Arsenal this summer despite having two years remaining on his playing contract, and his agent Kia Joorabchian has opened up about the situation.
The Brazilian is said to have agreed to leave without any severance package from the Gunners, gifting the Gunners a sizeable saving, and the midfielder is now expected to find a new club to join.
His agent insists that his player ‘willingly’ agreed to terminate his contract, before taking a parting shot by claiming that Arsenal convinced Willian of a project that simply ‘wasn’t there’.
“He terminated his contract and he did it willingly, he’s probably one of the first players to do so,” Kia said live on TalkSPORT(via CaughtOffside).
“Previously players, especially at Arsenal, have sat their contracts out, but he wasn’t one of them.
“When he joined, he sincerely joined because he was very much at the centre of Arteta’s thinking.
“Arteta make several presentations to Willian and made it clear he would be the focus point of how he would build the team around him.
“Willian had an offer from Chelsea to extend for two more years, but he wanted three years and he made the move. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for him.
“He was getting very heavily criticised over why he made the move here, but none of the things that have been suggested have not been the case.
“I spoke to Arsenal. I had a meeting with Arteta and Edu, they explained this has not gone well and I spoke to Willian.
“I don’t think it benefits any part to just let someone sit there for the sake of sitting there. When things go wrong, both sides should consider the fact it’s gone wrong and you need to find a solution.
“I think Willian did the right thing, he went for the project and the project wasn’t there.”
It does seem strange how large the gulf was between his playing level for Arsenal from what we saw at Chelsea, but we seem to have had a lucky escape considering we (possibly foolishly) gave him a three-year deal despite his age, as he had every right to stay and cash that salary.
Can you think of any other players who have agreed to cut up their contracts and give up such rewards?