Why £7.2m-a-year Willian was NEVER going to Inter Miami

Robin Bairner
Why £7.2m-a-year Willian leaving Arsenal for Inter Miami is a longshot

Willian endured a miserable year at Arsenal, but rumours that he was poised to move to David Beckham's Inter Miami outfit in MLS were always far fetched.

The 32-year-old Willian managed just a single goal in 37 matches for the Gunners over the course of the 2020/21 campaign - meaning that he ranked alongside countryman Alisson, the Liverpool goalkeeper, in the scoring charts.

He did manage to chip in with seven assists in all competitions, but his return was insufficient given his lavish wages and his time at the Emirates will be remembered as a flop.

Arsenal, of course, must try to severe their deal with Willian, who has another two years left on his deal, but that will prove testing.

One club he will almost certainly not be signing for, however, is Inter Miami.

Inter Miami deal virtually impossible

Why £7.2m-a-year Willian leaving Arsenal for Inter Miami is a longshot

Why £7.2m-a-year Willian leaving Arsenal for Inter Miami is a longshot

Inter Miami have become one of MLS’ sexiest franchises due to the presence of Beckham as an owner, but just because they have a high-profile board member, it does not mean they are immune to the rules of the league.

Indeed, as recently as mid-April, they were punished for breaking MLS salary rules to sign Blaise Matuidi from Juventus. This was because they had already had three designated players in their ranks in the form of Matias Pellegrini, Rodolfo Pizarro and former Argentina star Gonzalo Higuain.

Matuidi has now been added as their third designated player for the 2021 season along with Pizarro and Higuain. Miami were forced to buy out the contract of Pellegrini and send him to Fort Lauderdale.

Willian at Arsenal

Appearances37
Starts21
Goals1
Assists7
FootballCritic Ave. Rating6.4

There are two ways Inter Miami could sign Willian. Neither of these is remotely likely, however.

By far the most probable is that they can find a way to offload one of their current designated players to another club in mid-season. Head coach Phil Neville wants to release Pizarro, but his high wages are likely to prove a stumbling block.

Additionally, any move would have to take place in the summer transfer window, which stretches from 7 July to 5 August.

Otherwise, Inter Miami would have to squeeze Willian into their overall squad salary budget, which stands at $4.9 million for the entire squad, with each designated player counting an automatic $612,5000 towards that.

Given that Willian is reportedly on a salary of £7.2m ($10.2m) and has two more years to run on his deal, it’s safe to assume that there is no likelihood of that happening.

Sorry Arsenal fans, losing Willian to Inter Miami was simply a non-starter in the first place.