Opinion: Why Liverpool could be the mystery club rivalling Arsenal for Willian transfer

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The Willian transfer to Arsenal may be all but a done deal according to a number of sources by now, but there’s been interesting talk of an unnamed rival suitor for the Chelsea winger.

We can already rule out a number of teams, if reports are to be believed, with ESPN expecting him to move to Arsenal ahead of both Manchester United and Manchester City due to the Gunners offering him better terms than the Manchester giants. Elsewhere, Football Insider claim Arsenal leapfrogged rivals Tottenham, and Willian’s former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, for his signature.

MORE: Liverpool close to meeting demands for centre-back transfer

David Ornstein, speaking on a podcast with The Athletic, has provided an update on the Willian saga, saying it looks like being a race between Arsenal and one other unnamed club.

“That list of options, as we understand, is now condensed down to two – those being Arsenal and one other club, we don’t know the identity of them, but I’m sure that will become clear very quickly,” Ornstein said.

One imagines there could be a whole host of top teams around Europe and perhaps some tempting ‘retirement’ options in the MLS or other parts of the world vying for Willian’s signature, but what about Liverpool?

The Reds are losing Adam Lallana at the end of his contract this summer, while Goal have previously claimed Xherdan Shaqiri is a player they could look to sell at the end of this season after a relative lack of impact from the Switzerland international in his two seasons at Anfield.

willian fabinhho chelsea liverpool
Willian in action for Chelsea against Liverpool

Signing Willian on a free could therefore be a fine piece of business by Liverpool to add depth to an important area of their squad, as well as bringing in a player with the kind of winning experience that any squad would love to have. The Brazil international’s quality and work rate also look to make him the kind of ideal all-rounder who’d fit in perfectly in Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

James Milner has shown that age is no barrier to being a key part of this LFC side, and it may well be that Willian can have a similar role at Anfield.

The 31-year-old has shown he’s still capable of influencing games at this level with another fine season for Chelsea, and he was actually linked with Liverpool by the print edition of Sport, as translated by Sport Witness, earlier this season.

This speculation later died down, with all the focus now on Willian joining Arsenal, but we know Liverpool like to do their transfer business on the quiet, whilst also generally briefing that they don’t plan any big spending this summer.

A move for Willian really could fit the bill. That’s not to say it’s definitely happening by any means, but it will be interesting to keep an eye on events over the next few days and see if a surprise move to Merseyside could be an option.

“Ferguson kept saying we’re Manchester United and we are going to attack. But deep down, the players knew it was the wrong approach.” – Which game is Wayne Rooney talking about? Click here to find out.

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