Arsenal complete Willian signing from Chelsea

The Brazilian international confirmed last week he would be leaving the Blues, after seven years at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard was keen to keep hold of the 32-year old, however, the club’s policy of offering a maximum of two-year deal to players over 30 was rejected by Willian.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta told an interview with the club’s website he is delighted to get a deal done, stating that Willian will make a key difference next season.

And technical director Edu will have Gunners fans purring after confirming the signing is likely to be the first of many in a busy summer in North London.

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Willian departs Chelsea amidst Arsenal interest

The Brazil forward, who turned 32 on Sunday, is 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 the Blues and said he would depart with his “head held high”.

“The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my team-mates,” he wrote in an open letter to Blues fans published on Twitter.

“I will miss all the staff at the club who’ve always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans.

“I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt.

“My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you and God bless you.”

Willian, who has been struggling with an ankle injury, missed last weekend’s FA Cup final loss to the Gunners, as well as Saturday’s Champions League exit at Bayern Munich.

Having turned down Tottenham to join Chelsea from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013, he scored 63 goals in 339 appearances.

If reports are to be believed, he could remain in the capital, playing under Mikel Arteta at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal ready to offer Aubameyang new deal

Aubameyang turned in another stellar display at the weekend as the Gunners beat Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley to secure their 14th FA Cup title – no club in English football has won more.

It was Aubameyang’s brace at the national stadium which secured a first trophy for Mikel Arteta as Arsenal boss, and perhaps more importantly, secured the club a Europa League place next term at Wolves’ expense.

European football at the Emirates next season is a huge boost for manager Mikel Arteta, as not only does it give the club greater appeal in terms of attracting new players, but may also go a long way to keeping hold of the prolific Aubameyang.

The Gabon international, who recently turned 31, has been subject of speculation all season, largely due to his excellent goalscoring form coupled with Arsenal’s lacklustre showing this campaign.

Newspaper the Daily Star suggest that the Gunners are willing to offer Aubameyang a £250,000 a week deal to convince him to stay at the club, whereas other sources are suggesting a new deal worth more than £40m could be signed by the end of the week.

Whatever the scenario, Arsenal know that losing Aubameyang is also losing a major asset in the hunt for success.

Arsenal close to permanent Dani Ceballos capture from Real Madrid but hit snag in chase for Atletico’s Thomas Partey

The good news is that Dani Ceballos, who has been on loan at the Emirates Stadium from Real Madrid this campaign, is reported to be close to penning a permanent contract at Arsenal.

Ceballos is said to not be in the plans of current Real coach Zinedine Zidane, and according to Spanish news outlet AS, the midfielder’s focus is to stay in North London for another season.

Other reports from Spain also suggest that Real Madrid’s need to make some cash this summer will encourage them to sell Ceballos to Arsenal, with newspaper Marca claiming €30-35m could be enough to make the switch permanent.

It is in the middle of the park where Arteta and Sporting Director Edu are seemingly keen to bolster their ranks, with Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey on the Gunners’ radar.

Partey has been linked with a move to the Premier League for the past 18 months, with Arsenal supposedly in pole position for the 27-year-old’s signature.

The Ghana international has a release clause of €50m, and still has three years remaining on his current Atletico deal – but the Gunners remain confident they can land their man.

Earlier this month, The Guardian reported Arsenal had offered £23m for Partey’s services – approximately half of his €50m release clause – but that was rejected.
Now reports claim that out-of-favour midfielder Matteo Guendouzi was offered as a makeweight in order to up the ante, and tempt Atletico in to accepting a lower price for Partey.

Guendouzi reportedly had a bust-up with gaffer Mikel Arteta shortly after the Premier League’s resumption and hasn’t featured for Arsenal in the last 10 games in all competitions.

Despite the offer of Guendouzi, Partey won’t be leaving the Wanda Metropolitano any time soon it seems, as the player plus cash bid was also rejected.

In the past, Alexandre Lacazette has been of interest to Atletico Madrid – however it is unlikely that Arteta will use the Frenchman as a bargaining chip to secure Partey at the expense of weakening his forward line.