But Willian will instead stay in London and link up with Arsenal, with whom his agent Kia Joorabchian shares close connections.
The news of his arrival may not go down well however, with Arsenal having announced on Wednesday that they will make 55 members of staff redundant due to financial struggles caused by the coronavirus crisis.
A statement written by head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham confirmed that, controversially, investment into Arteta’s squad will not be impacted despite the job cuts.
It read: “Over recent years we have consistently invested in additional staff to take the club forward but with the expected reduction of income in mind, it is now clear that we must reduce our costs further to ensure we are operating in a sustainable and responsible way, and to enable us to continue to invest in the team.
“Our aim has been to protect the jobs and base salaries of our people for as long as we possibly can. Unfortunately, we have now come to the point where we are proposing 55 redundancies.