Willian has revealed how he wanted to stay at Chelsea before making the decision to join Premier League rivals Arsenal.
The Brazil international spent seven years with the Blues and was regularly touted as one of the club's most underrated players.
But he was moved on during last summer's transfer window after failing to agree a new contract at Stamford Bridge.
He joined Arsenal on a three-year deal in 2020, but has struggled to make the desired impact since his switch across London.
And now the 32-year-old has disclosed that he never wanted to leave Chelsea for the Gunners in the first place.
Speaking to UOL Sport, Willian said: "It was difficult to make that decision because the rivalry between the two clubs is very big.
“It was well thought out… talking to my wife and even the agent many times.
“I didn't leave the club with a fight, I left the doors open. Everyone knew the conditions, I really wanted to stay.
“We ended up not finding an agreement, I ended up asking for three years, Chelsea wanted to give two, and everyone knows this story. That's why I ended up leaving.”
Willian also mentioned his decision to join Arsenal was made easier after talking with boss Mikel Arteta and technical director, Edu.
“One of the things that made me decide to go to Arsenal was really the various conversations I had with Mikel Arteta, with Edu too", he continued.
“They convinced me that I'd be a very important player in the squad.
“They wanted to change the philosophy of the club, to make it possible for Arsenal to fight again in the Premier League, to play in the Champions League again.”
Willian has been a key part of Arsenal's squad so far this season, making 26 appearances across all competitions, although he has so far failed to find the net for the Gunners.
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