Arsenal Star Finally Respond to Reports of His Shock Move to La Liga Giants

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Willian has played down speculation he was set to join Barcelona instead of Arsenal after leaving Chelsea.

The Brazil international joined Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal over the summer after ending his seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge.

Willian won two Premier League titles and the Europa League with Chelsea and was linked with a move to Barcelona towards the end of his stint in west London.

But the 32-year-old says he was not aware of a concrete offer from Barca and is happy at Arsenal, who he described as ‘one of the biggest clubs in the world’.

Asked whether he was close to joining Barcelona instead of Arsenal, Willian told FourFourTwo: ‘There are always rumours, but I didn’t know about any other official offer.

‘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 Barça. ‘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 impressed on his Arsenal debut, helping Arteta’s side beat Fulham 3-0 on the opening weekend, but his influence has waned since.

Whilst the Brazilian is still looking for his first Arsenal goal, Liverpool legend John Barnes has defended Willian’s performances.

‘Willian has come to an inconsistent team, it’s not the player himself that is at fault but the team he is in,’ Barnes said.

‘If Willian went to a consistent team that was performing well every week, he would be a fantastic player and a great addition to the squad. It is on Arsenal and Mikel Arteta to try and get the most out of him.

‘Once Arsenal start to perform so will he and the whole club will be in a much better place.

‘Willian was never going to be the main man at Arsenal, he needs to come to a team that is playing well and then he will add to that.’

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