Arsenal ‘jump ahead’ of Liverpool in race to land Willian on free transfer

Arsenal have reportedly jumped ahead of Liverpool in the race to sign Chelsea winger Willian on a free transfer this summer.

Willian is out of contract at the end of the season, and while he wanted to sign a three-year extension, Chelsea were only prepared to offer two more seasons.

The 31-year-old Brazilian had been in talks over a move to Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp needing back-up for his frontline ahead of next season.

But Willian is keen to stay in London, where he has lived since 2013 – and because of that Arsenal have jumped ahead in the queue, according to ESPN.

Reporter Jorge Nicola said: "Arsenal are a little ahead today, but everything is still open."

Clubs will be hunting for bargains in this summer's transfer window due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and Willian will bring a huge amount of Premier League experience.

Arsenal's willingness to offer him a multi-year deal puts them in the driving seat, according to Mail Online, while Willian would also be reunited with his compatriot and former Chelsea team-mate David Luiz if he chose the Emirates.

Willian's huge Premier League experience would be a huge boost to Mikel Arteta as the Gunners boss looks to re-establish Arsenal as a force in the Premier League.

However, it is understood that discussions between Willian and Liverpool have gone well as the Reds eye new recruits.

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