Arsenal are favourites to sign Willian should the Brazil winger opt to leave Chelsea in the coming weeks.
Willian has still not agreed new terms with Chelsea, despite having been offered a two-year extension to his expiring contract.
And the 31-year-old now favours a move to Arsenal should he leave Stamford Bridge, the PA news agency understands.
Willian has had offers from clubs in America’s Major League Soccer, with Tottenham having monitored the situation.
But Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are now considered to head the queue for his services.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has been clear all season that he wants to keep Willian in west London, with the highly-regarded winger notching nine goals and laying on seven assists in this term’s Premier League.
But the former Shakhtar Donetsk forward has been holding out for a three-year contract, with Chelsea only having offered two-year terms.
Willian signed a short-term contract extension to cover the close of a campaign disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but that deal will expire after Chelsea’s Champions League exploits.
Willian sat out last weekend’s 2-1 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal through injury, but is battling to be fit for Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 second leg at Bayern Munich on Saturday.
Chelsea head to Germany with a 3-0 deficit from the first leg back in March, and exiting Europe this weekend could spell the end of Willian’s seven-year stint at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have already brought in prolific Germany striker Timo Werner and Morocco playmaker Hakim Ziyech ahead of next term, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz thought to be inching ever closer to a Chelsea transfer.
Lampard’s Stamford Bridge overhaul is expected to extend still further, with West Ham’s Declan Rice a target to feature at centre-back and Leicester’s Ben Chilwell another in the Blues’ long-term plans.
Spain winger Pedro is still expected to complete his move to Roma despite suffering a nasty-looking shoulder injury in Saturday’s FA Cup defeat.