Arsenal are close to signing former Chelsea forward Willian on a free transfer, and he could be announced as a Gunners player as early as next week.


The 32-year-old has already confirmed he will depart Stamford Bridge when his contract expires at the end of the month, after rejecting several offers to remain in west London. The Brazilian wanted to sign a three-year deal but Chelsea were reluctant to hand out such a long contract to the 32-year-old.


Arsenal on the other hand have no such reservations, and they appear to have beaten off competition from MLS and other Premier League clubs to secure the forward's signature. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has reported that the transfer is very close to completion.


"Confirmed. Last details and paperworks time between Willian and Arsenal. He’s going to join Gunners on next week," Romano tweeted.


Willian was in good form for Chelsea last season, registering nine goals and seven assists in the Premier League. This form has convinced Arsenal that the forward still has enough to give to justify offering a lengthy deal.


Willian departs Stamford Bridge as a two time Premier League winner, while he also won the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League during his time at the club.


He signalled his Chelsea exit with an emotional social media post on Sunday afternoon where he thanked the fans for their support during his six-year stay. Overall, he made 339 appearances for the Blues in all competitions, scoring 63 goals.


The Brazilian is the first piece of transfer business completed by Mikel Arteta's but it is unlikely to be the last. James Rodriguez is among several players linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, while Lucas Torreira and Alexandre Lacazette could depart the club.