Willian and Bernd Leno have both been linked with summer exits ahead of a big rebuilding at Arsenal.
Despite doubts over their respective Arsenal careers, Mikel Arteta believes it is ‘very likely’ Bernd Leno and Willian will stay for next season.
With David Luiz’s summer exit confirmed, more players are expected to follow. The Brazilian’s former Chelsea teammate Willian is one of them. According to Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are waiting for ‘official offers’ amid interest in Europe and the MLS.
After David Luiz, also Willian is expected to leave Arsenal this summer. ⚪️🔴 #AFC
There’s interest from European clubs and from MLS – Inter Miami wanted him last summer. Arsenal are waiting for official bids. 🇧🇷 #Willian #transfers
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 16, 2021
The news was somewhat surprising given that Willian only signed a three-year deal on a free transfer from Chelsea last year. His performances, though, haven’t lived up to expectation.
“First of all we signed a player with an incredible talent, a proven talent, and performance level in this league, and this season has been difficult,” said Arteta about Willian’s future on the club’s website.
“I take full responsibility because I have to be the one getting the best out of him and we had moments but not to the level that he did before.
“This is an assessment that we will do individually with the players and with Edu, the board and the ownership to make the right decisions for the future.”
Asked if he expects Willian to stay, the Arsenal boss replied: “Every player that is under contract is very likely to be here with us next season.”
Leno, meanwhile, denied reports on Monday that he is seeking a summer exit. The German is Arteta’s first-choice goalkeeper and, like Willian, is under contract until 2023.
Bernd Leno: “I don't want to flee here [Arsenal], I feel good and want to be successful again with the club!” [@berger_pj] pic.twitter.com/0UZ43W534J
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) May 17, 2021
“It’s another one with a contract here that, because of the length of his contract, a lot of things will be speculated on,” Arteta said on Leno.
“He has two years here, and he belongs here.”