*Chelsea number 10 play maker, Willian is of interest to Arsenal
By Adrian Kajumba
Arsenal are actively on the lookout for free transfers and swap deals, underlining their financial position after stressing the need for their players to take pay cuts. Arsenal, who asked their stars to reduce their wages by up to 12.5 per cent until next March due to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), are resigned to having a limited budget before player sales when the next window opens and having to shop shrewdly.
As a result, they are focusing on out-of-contract players while they have also put feelers out to see if there are any potential player trades that could be arranged. Chelsea winger Willian, whose agent Kia Joorabchian has close ties with Arsenal and their technical director Edu, is one free agent of interest to the north Londoners. Swap deals are harder to strike due to the difficulty of the two parties agreeing on the value of both players involved.
Arsenal, though, were part of one of the most high-profile of recent years when Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan swapped between the Gunners and Manchester United in January 2018. The exact date when the summer transfer window will open has yet to be confirmed due to the delay to the season following the coronavirus outbreak. Arsenal’s plans highlight their tight financial situation and the importance of their players agreeing to become the first in the Premier League to take pay cuts rather than deferrals.
Mikel Arteta’s players will only be repaid in full if Arsenal qualify for the Champions League while the reduction will be lowered to 7.5 per cent if they make the Europa League. The topic of the club’s transfer plans was raised in the discussions with players wanting to know if they would end up seeing the club splash out in the summer after being asked to reduce their wages.