Arsenal confirm Willian exit as Ainsley Maitland-Niles pushes for move


Arsenal confirmed on Monday evening that Willian has left the club for Corinthians, hours after Ainsley Maitland-Niles took to social media to try to force a move away from the north London club.

Brazil winger Willian, who joined the Gunners from Chelsea 12 months ago, had two more years to run on his deal.

But Arsenal announced on Monday that the 33-year-old’s contract had been terminated by mutual consent.

The club added: “Following positive and constructive recent discussions with him and his team, he will be leaving for a new opportunity with Corinthians in Brazil, where he began his career.”

Willian made 37 appearances for the north London outfit last season.

Versatile England midfielder Maitland-Niles, meanwhile, also made clear his wish to depart and took matters into his own hands in an effort to push for an exit before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.

“All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play, Arsenal,” Maitland-Niles posted on his Instagram stories.

(Ainsley Maitland-Niles/Instagram)(Ainsley Maitland-Niles/Instagram)

(Ainsley Maitland-Niles/Instagram)

The 24-year-old has been a loan target for Everton in this transfer window, but the Gunners are understood to have rebuffed an approach from the Toffees.

Maitland-Niles has made just one substitute appearance for the club in the new Premier League campaign, with Arsenal bottom of the table, pointless and goalless after three defeats.

Mikel Arteta has conducted a squad revamp in the summer, leaving Maitland-Niles on the periphery at the Emirates Stadium, but Arsenal have so far refused to allow the five-cap England international the chance to leave.

Everton have started the new season in fine form under Rafael Benitez, claiming two wins and a draw, and the Spaniard is understood to be keen on taking Maitland-Niles to Goodison Park.

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