Chelsea's first major departure confirmed

English Premier League

Willian has announced he will be leaving Chelsea after seven years, with a move to London rivals Arsenal reportedly on the cards.

The Brazilian joined the Blues in 2013 from Russian Premier League outfit Anzhi Makhachkala and has gone on to win two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup.

READ: Blues star willing to take 'pay cut' to leave

However, the 32-year-old has now decided to part ways with the London out after penning a farewell letter on Sunday afternoon.

"They were seven wonderful years," Willian said in a statement on Twitter.

"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 no many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense.

"Yet, beyond the trophies, I learnt 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.

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"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! Borges da Silva."

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