Willian: confirms Chelsea exit

Brazillian Winger Willian Borges da Silva has confirmed that he will be leaving Chelsea this summer as he calls an end to his seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

Willian confirmed his departure in an open letter to the club’s fans as he clocked 32 today.

In a message shared on his Instagram page, William said: “They were seven wonderful years. In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play.

“Today I am certain that it was the best of decisions. There were so many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense.

“Yet, beyond the trophies, I learned a lot about myself. I developed a great deal, becoming a better player and a better person. With each training session, with each game, with every minute spent in the dressing room, I was always learning.

“I am really grateful to the Chelsea fans for the affectionate way they welcomed me at Stamford Bridge and their support throughout my time at the club. There was also criticism, which is normal, what is important though is that both the affection and criticism drove me to always give my all in every training session, every game, to be constantly improving until my very last minute in a Chelsea shirt!

“The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my team-mates. I will miss all the staff at the club who’ve always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans. I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt!

“My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you and God bless you!”

Willian’s contract with the London side expires at the end of August.

His future has been in the balance for some time, with negotiations drawn out over the renewal of his contract, with the winger looking for a three-year deal amid interest from London rivals Arsenal.

Willian joined Chelsea from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013 and lifted two Premier League titles and won the Europa League, FA Cup, and League Cup.