Arsenal transfer target Thomas Partey “wants to play” for the Gunners according to FootballGhana.com, as Mikel Arteta plots a move to activate the £43million (€50m) release clause in the midfielder’s Atletico Madrid contract. The 26-year-old – also linked to Paris Saint-Germain – is said to have made it clear he wants to move to the Premier League.
Arteta sees the dynamic defensive-minded midfielder as the man he can build a new-look spine around in the middle of the park.
The Arsenal coach is looking to inject more steel into the midfield, with Partey’s excellent ability on the ball – both defensively and offensively – and his physical presence marking him as a stand-out option.
Diego Simeone is keen to keep the Ghanaian in the Spanish capital after several successful seasons for Atletico, having helped them to beat Liverpool in the Champions League last 16 before football across Europe’s coronavirus-enforced break.
But FootballGhana.com claim that Partey has his heart set on moving to the Emirates this summer, even though the north London club are far from certain to have Champions League football – or even Europa League football – next season.
FootballGhana’s editor Samuel Ekow Amoasi Appiah said: “As per a close source to Thomas Partey, the player wants to play for Arsenal.
“Expect Partey to play in Arsenal next season, expect him to be in England, I can assure you of that.
“Partey wants to play for Arsenal, he wants to be in England.
“Last week, I was told that [Michael] Essien has got in touch with him and I wouldn’t be surprised because close sources tell me that Partey wants to play in England and especially Arsenal.”
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague declared this week that the Ghana international will not sign a contract extension but questions whether his exit clause will be activated by any potential suitors.
“Now, what I’m hearing is he’s got a buyout clause of €50m and Atletico Madrid would like him to sign another contract,” Balague said on his YouTube channel.
“But he’s not signing another contract, that’s as much as I can tell you.
“Has there been contact? There was a very clear possibility of him moving to England last summer.
“Spurs, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all enquired about Thomas.
“It didn’t happen but it tells you that perhaps it’s the player that Atletico Madrid would be more fearful of losing because he’s growing, but is more willing to leave. That’s as much as we can say.
“This €50m is an interesting figure but not many clubs are going to go that far for Thomas.
“We’ve seen that PSG has already spent that on [Mauro] Icardi and that will probably be already the record for this summer in the transfer window.”
But with Arsenal short on funds, transfer expert Duncan Castles has suggested that they could offload Kieran Tierney to free up finances for signings such as Partey.
The Scottish left-back has endured an injury-hit first season since a £25million switch from Celtic, making just 11 appearances.
Despite that, the 22-year-old defender has impressed in his cameos and looks a promising prospect for the future.
Yet Castles said on the Transfer Window podcast: “There is a fit there [for Ben Chilwell at Chelsea].
“I think it’s important that Brendan Rodgers, when he was entering Leicester City and looking at last summer’s transfer market, Chilwell was a player he was prepared to let go.
“He felt he could secure a substantial transfer fee for him and if he did the player he had in mind to purchase was Kieran Tierney.
“Obviously neither of those things happened, Tierney went to Arsenal instead and Tierney has struggled through injury, with the managerial changes at Arsenal as well, made just 11 appearances for them so far, just five in the Premier League.
“So when you’re looking at a player who struggled in that first season like that, was bought for a substantial fee, he is at a club which has money problems, they need to make changes to their squad and they need to find revenue to do that.
“So in normal circumstances you would say no chance of getting a player from Arsenal who had been bought for a substantial fee and brought in as part of the last and most recent rebuild.
“Perhaps in these circumstances a deal would be viable for Leicester and I think it fits with Brendan Rodgers’ assessment of the players and the way he has pragmatically looked at his squad at the past.”