Willian agrees to join Al-Shabab just TWO WEEKS after signing his new deal at Fulham – and is waiting for the Cottagers to strike a deal with the Saudi outfit
- Willian signed a new contract at Fulham last month after speculation over his future
- He was courted by Nottingham Forest but decided to extend his stay at the club
- He has now changed his mind and decided to join the Saudi side of Al-Shabab
Fulham winger Willian has agreed to join Saudi club Al-Shabab and is waiting for the clubs to agree on a fee.
Willian initially rejected interest from Nottingham Forest and signed an extension at Craven Cottage last month – but is now set to leave west London just two weeks after signing his new contract.
The 34-year-old, formerly of Chelsea and Arsenal, signed his new one-year contract on July 17, seemingly ending speculation over his future.
But now the Brazilian is set to become the latest top-flight player to join the Saudi Pro League this summer after already agreeing a move to the Middle East.
Mail Sport have reported how, after his initial deal ended, Willian held talks with Forest over a potential move and even visited their training ground.
Willian, who signed a new deal with Fulham last month, has agreed to join Al-Shabab in Saudi Arabia
It gives a headache to Cottagers boss Marco Silva, who has faced a summer of disruption
He ultimately rejected Steve Cooper’s offer and decided to stay in west London after an impressive first season at the club – which saw him score five goals and register six assists in 27 Premier League appearances.
Despite turning down the Midlands side, Willian couldn’t be deterred from the prospect of joining Al-Shabab in a lucrative deal.
The Telegraph have claimed that the Saudi club plan to double his current salary at Fulham, but the newspaper claim that no official offer has been made for the Brazilian yet.
Fulham – who hope build on last season’s 10th place – will now seek to strike a deal with Al-Shabab and collect a transfer fee for Willian as he is now under contract in west London.
When Willian signed his new contract, he had expressed his joy at extending his stay for another season.
He said: “I am completely happy. Happy to sign one more year with Fulham.
“Happy to continue the work I did last season with all my team-mates and the whole club.
“I think it’s a club that can do even better this season, so I’m happy to continue this incredible adventure.”
The rise of the Saudi Pro League continues to give Fulham headaches, with Silva rejecting a £40million offer to take over at Al-Ahli this summer.
Al-Shabab could double the winger’s salary, although Fulham have yet to receive an official offer
Aleksandar Mitrovic is also attracting interest from Saudi Arabia, with Al-Hilal close to his heart
Meanwhile, Al-Hilal – whose offer Silva also rejected – is for star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, but the Cottagers have already turned down several offers after slapping a £52million price tag on his head.
However, Mitrovic is desperate to make the switch and hasn’t featured in any of Fulham’s pre-season games on their US tour. His frustration will likely increase even more if teammate Willian is allowed to leave.
The club are keen to bring in new reinforcements this summer, having so far only added Calvin Bassey from Ajax and Raul Jimenez from Wolves.
Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi and Everton’s Demarai Gray are among their targets before they start the season at the Toffees on August 12.