Arsenal Remain 'Main Candidates' to Sign Atlético's Thomas Partey

Arsenal are still seen as the main candidates to sign Atlético Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, despite growing frustration from the Gunners over an ability to find an agreement.

The Ghanaian midfielder comes with a £45m release clause which is too expensive for Arsenal, who recently spent around £27m to sign centre-back Gabriel Magalhães from Lille, and negotiations have been ongoing for months to try and find a compromise.

Arsenal are believed to have offered numerous player-plus-cash deals to try and get this deal done, with Mattéo Guendouzi and Alexandre Lacazette both rumoured to be involved, but Atlético are holding firm and demanding a straight fee.

Atléti's refusal to entertain anything other than £45m has forced Arsenal to put their pursuit of Partey on hold, but according to Marca, the Gunners are still seen as the leading candidates to sign the midfielder if they can raise the required money.

Partey has rejected Atléti's offer of a new contract in an attempt to pressure the club into selling him to Arsenal, but Los Rojiblancos are holding firm and are yet to budge from their asking price. They want to replace him with Espanyol's Marc Roca, who would cost them £35m, so they don't want to be out of pocket.

Unfortunately for Arsenal, Partey is not prepared to hand in an official transfer request to force through a move.

That leaves Arsenal forced to explore ways to raise money. One potential source of income could be the sale of Héctor Bellerín, who is wanted by both Paris Saint-Germain and Bayer Leverkusen.

There are also doubts about the futures of Sokratis, Rob Holding, Emiliano Martínez and Lucas Torreira, while Guendouzi and Lacazette have also attracted plenty of transfer rumours of their own.

Selling a few of that group would likely bring in at least £45m, at which point Arsenal would likely pick up the phone to Atlético again, but this one doesn't look like it's going anywhere until the Gunners make a handful of sales.

It could be a nervy few weeks for Arsenal as Partey is also believed to be on the wish list of Inter boss Antonio Conte, although the Serie A side have prioritised moves for Chelsea's N'Golo Kanté, Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele and Barcelona's Arturo Vidal.

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Source : 90min