Inter Miami have rejected the chance to sign Arsenal winger Willian because of the Brazilian’s high wage demands.
The 32-year-old joined on a free transfer from Chelsea last summer, penning a huge three-year contract and planning to turn Arsenal into Champions League contenders, but that could hardly have gone worse for him.
Willian managed just one goal in 37 appearances in all competitions in his debut campaign, and his poor form led to numerous reports that he will be allowed to leave Arsenal this summer if the right buyer can be found.
Inter Miami volunteered to be that buyer and Willian was open to making the move to Major League Soccer, but according to The Sun, he was looking for in excess of £160,000-a-week to link up with David Beckham’s side.
Unsurprisingly, Inter Miami quickly distanced themselves from those numbers. Their highest earner is Gonzalo Higuain, who takes home around £80,500-per-week, so getting anywhere close to Willian’s demands was never going to happen.
A move to MLS is now thought to have collapsed completely, leaving Willian is purgatory. Arsenal still hope to sell him but are struggling to find anyone willing to offer him anything close to the kind of salary he earns at the Emirates.
Getting his wages off the books could be crucial for the Gunners this summer as Mikel Arteta’s side are doing their best to embark on a hefty spending spree.
A £7m deal for Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares has been struck, and Arsenal hope to follow that with a move for Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, who is expected to cost around £17m.
Arsenal are also pushing ahead with plans to sign Brighton centre-back Ben White, who comes with a price tag of around £50m, so getting rid of Willian’s wages would go a long way to helping free up that kind of money.
Selling Granit Xhaka will help raise the required funds. The Swiss midfielder is on the cusp of joining Roma for the best part of £15m, but Willian won’t be following him out the exit door just yet.