Willian has announced the “time has now come” to leave Chelsea amid repeated reports of a free transfer switch to London rivals Arsenal.

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.

Related posts

Chelsea line up Edouard Mendy as Kepa replacement audio
Chelsea have moved a stepped closer to replacing under fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, with a bid accepted for Rennes stopper Edouard Mendy.
Arsenal confirm move for Icelandic international Runar Alex Runarsson audio
Arsenal have moved quickly to replace Emiliano Martinez, with the Gunners agreeing a deal for Icelandic international Runar Alex Runarsson.
Liverpool Cruise To 2-0 Premier League Win At 10-Man Chelsea audio
Liverpool have fired an early Premier League title warning with a clinical 2-0 win against 10-man Chelsea.
Arsenal snatch late 2-1 Premier League win at home to West Ham audio
Arsenal’s positive start to the new Premier League season has continued as Mikel Arteta’s side sealed a late 2-1 win at home to West Ham.