Arsenal have intensified their interest in signing Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid this summer, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic.
The 27-year old midfield powerhouse has played 42 times for Diego Simeone’s side in all competitions this season. He scored three goals and provided no more than one assist, but it’s hardly relevant for a player whose primary duty is to protect the back line by positioning himself directly in front of them and fight for every ball.
He was particularly impressive in the Champions League round of 16 against the newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool, where he clearly showed he can be a match for the best out there. He was also very good as Atletico held Barcelona to a 2-2 draw on Tuesday, hampering the Catalans bid to defend the La Liga title severely.
Partey in under contract with the Rojiblancos until 2023. There is, apparently, a release clause therein set at €50 million, but Arsenal are hoping to negotiate a fee significantly lower than that in the current financial circumstances. The player himself is believed to be keen on the move to the Emirates, while the Gunners’ interest in him is a long-term one.
It remains to be seen what the proposed arrival of Partey to north London would mean for the current crop of players vying for the spots in central midfield. Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira have all been linked with departure in recent months.
Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka has put an end to all guesswork regarding his near future by penning a new deal, but Ornstein reports that there is still no progress with the club’s efforts to persuade captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to do the same. Arteta said as much himself during his press conference ahead of the team’s comprehensive triumph over bottom side Norwich City on Wednesday.