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Willian unaware of any Barcelona offer prior to making Arsenal decision

The Brazil international forward opted to cross London in the summer of 2020, as he departed Chelsea, with no Camp Nou opportunity put to him

Willian claims to be unaware of any official approach from Barcelona being made to secure his signature over the summer, with Arsenal the only suitors that matched his ambition.

The Brazil international decided to take on a new challenge in the last transfer window after spending seven productive years at Chelsea.

He landed two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and Europa League during his time with the Blues, while also becoming a regular for his country.

The decision was, however, taken to cross London in 2020 as he headed from west to north and linked up with Arsenal.

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Willian had seen a switch to Barca mooted before joining the Gunners, with his experience and ability dropping into the free agent pool.

The 32-year-old forward is, however, adamant that no offer from Camp Nou was put to him.

“There are always rumours, but I didn’t know about any other official offer,” Willian told FourFourTwo.

“Indeed, there was a lot of talk about Barcelona for the past few seasons, but I wouldn’t have gone there just because they’re Barca.

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“I wouldn’t go to any club without hearing about their targets and what they wanted from me.

“It wouldn’t be nice to be there or anywhere else if you weren’t going to be a big part of the project and didn’t play much. 

“Arsenal were the only club to show me a project that would fit with my ambitions, and they’re one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

Willian enjoyed a bright start to life at Arsenal, but had started to fade slightly before entering the latest international break.

He will be looking to rediscover his spark over the coming months, with the South American looking forward to spending more time working under Mikel Arteta – one of the most highly-rated young coaches in the business.

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“He’ll be a top manager, I’ve no doubt about it,” Willian added on a Spanish tactician calling the shots at Emirates Stadium.

“The potential is there, as is the ambition. In a few years he’ll be considered one of the best managers in the Premier League – and the world.

“Obviously you must win trophies to be considered one of the best, and it will happen for him sooner rather than later.

“I’m impressed with the way he talks and explains his tactical thoughts – he’s quick to read the game and make adjustments when needed. It’s been fantastic to train under him so far and I’m learning a lot.” 

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