Willian will reportedly cost Arsenal around £35m according to a Daily Mail exclusive despite being ‘free’ and claims he was taking a paycut to join Arsenal.
Willian earned £120kpw at Chelsea and wanted a three-year deal. They offered him a deal for two-years before football stopped. It was a non-negotiable offer and both aspects of that annoyed the Brazilian.
With Kia Joorabchian at his side, however, there was nothing to fear. For just across the sprawling city of London lay a great football club just waiting to be plundered.
It was no lie that Willian will earn less per week than at Chelsea, his basic wage coming in at £100kpw after the confirmation of his transfer to Arsenal, but guaranteed for three years instead of two gives him more security.
On top of that, we also all knew there would be bonuses, we just had to wait to see how much would go to Willian and how much the club would ‘save’ by landing a £20m player for free. There is no such thing as a ‘free’ transfer, with part of the fee that’s normally paid simply going to the player and agent instead while the club should, technically, save something too.
Willian certainly does well, as you’d expect with Joorabchian at the helm, if this report in the Mail is accurate. With loyalty bonuses, signing-on fee and ‘other bonuses throughout the duration’, according to Mike Keegan and Sami Mokbel, he will earn around £35m.
If you imagine Arsenal had to pay his current market value for him of £20m as a transfer fee, that would put his wages at around £96kpw (£15m over three years). Arsenal, in other words, have saved nothing by purchasing this ‘free’ agent.
Plus, they’ve put in an option of a fourth year for a player who just turned 32, although there is some debate over this
#afc I understand there is no option on Willian's contract for a further fourth year.
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) August 14, 2020
Coming not long after Arsenal made the announcement that they would be getting rid of 55 jobs, this is not a great look for Arsenal. The Daily Mail piece even states the announcement of Willian’s arrival has been pushed back because of this.
It was something Mesut Ozil spoke about in his explosive interview with David Ornstein of the Athletic. We spoke about it too at the time Ozil initially refused to take a paycut without first seeing evidence it was required.
Unless something unforeseen happens, Willian’s move to Arsenal is expected to complete this weekend. He has already passed his medical.
He will then be able to train with Arsenal ahead of their return to training and pre-season preparations, including getting ready for Wembley and some friendlies.