Willian terminates Arsenal contract to sign for Corinthians

Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2021 by Goal.com

Willian terminates Arsenal contract to sign for Corinthians

The former Chelsea winger leaves the Gunners after just one season in north London

Willian has left Arsenal after agreeing to terminate the remaining two years of his contract and is set to sign for boyhood club Corinthians.

The 33-year-old signed a three-year deal when he joined on a free transfer from Chelsea last summer. However, he struggled to make an impact at the Emirates, scoring just once in 38 appearances.

After holding talks about his future, the winger has agreed to forego the wages he was owed for the final two years of his contract and become a free agent.

What did Arsenal say?

In a statement, the Gunners said: "We have reached a mutual agreement with Willian to terminate his contract effective from today.

"The Brazil international joined us from Chelsea last August and made 38 appearances during the 2020-21 campaign.

"He had two more years to run on his contract but following positive and constructive recent discussions with him and his team, he will be leaving for a new opportunity with Corinthians in Brazil, where he began his career.

"Everyone at Arsenal wishes Willian and his family well for the future."

Willian denies greed accusations

Willian took to social media to explain the reasons behind his departure and express his regret that things did not work out for him at Arsenal.

He also denies accusations he moved to the Gunners for financial reasons, saying his decision to terminate his contract early is evidence of this.

"I would like to thank Arsenal for the opportunity they have given to me and for the warm welcome received by everybody at the club," he said.

"Unfortunately things on the pitch didn't go the way we had all planned and hoped. I received a lot of criticism, especially from some members of the press, that I had come here for financial reasons. I hope with my actions today explain to those people and they now understand that was not the case.

"I hope it teaches some people that they should not be so quick to pass judgement on create bad environments to make themselves important, even though I accept that's part of the game.

"All my career I have done everything to be the best I can be. I always want to win and I find it hard to accept not doing so. Unfortunately it didn't happen for me at Arsenal and I am sorry about that.

"I came to England in 2013 and I have enjoyed every minute of my time here. I want to thank everyone who had helped me along the way to play in this wonderful league that is full of heart and spirit."

The bigger picture

By agreeing to a contract termination, Willian has saved Arsenal a considerable financial headache, with the winger earning around £150,000 a week in north London.

After spending around £130 million ($178m) on incomings this summer, Arsenal have been looking to move several players on to reduce what is a bloated squad.

It had been made clear that Willian had no future at the club and the player himself was keen to move on, but finding a club willing to match his wages proved difficult.

The club held talks with Corinthians about a deal but the Brazilian club were unable to match what Willian earned at the Emirates, raising the prospect that the Gunners would have to continue paying a percentage of his wages even after his departure.

However, Willian has instead chosen to give up several million pounds that he was legally owed in order to force through a move as a free agent.

By moving to Corinthians he returns to the club where he began his career in 2006, before he moved to Europe with Shakhtar Donetsk the following year.

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