Willian leaves Arsenal for boyhood team

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Brazilian midfielder Willian says he will join his boyhood club Corinthians after terminating his contract with Arsenal.

Willian reached an agreement hours earlier to end his contract with the English Premier League club two years early - reportedly waiving about Stg20 million ($A37.7m) in wages.

Arsenal said the termination conversations were positive and wished Willian good luck at his new club - where he is reported to be taking a 70 per cent reduction in wages from what he was earning in London.

"I received a lot of criticism especially from some members of the press that I had come here for financial reasons," Willian said.

"I hope with my actions today explain to those people and they now understand that was not the case."

The 33-year-old spoke to Corinthians fans in a live broadcast with club president Duilio Monteiro Alves.

Willian started his career at the Sao Paulo-based club, from where he left for Shakhtar Donetsk at age 17 in 2007.

"I am ready. I am here anxious to get back and wear this shirt," he said.

The Brazil international joined Arsenal from Chelsea at the start of last season and made 37 appearances.

Willian's best moments were at Chelsea, where he played from 2013-20 - scoring 63 goals in 339 appearances in a trophy-laden spell after arriving from Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013.

He won two Premier League titles, the League Cup and a Europa League trophy.

At Arsenal he was far from his previous form - scoring only once for the Gunners.

"I came to England in 2013 and I have enjoyed every minute of my time here," Willian said on Instagram.

"I always want to win and I find it hard to accept not doing so. Unfortunately it didn't happen for me at Arsenal and I am sorry about that."

Willian played for Brazil in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

Corinthians are sixth in the Brazilian championship after 18 matches.

Arsenal are bottom of the Premier League with no points after three rounds.

Willian did not play on Saturday in Arsenal's 5-0 humiliation at Manchester City.

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