Atletico Madrid are not willing to compromise on the €50 million release clause for Arsenal’s top target, Thomas Partey.
Thomas Partey has emerged as one of Europe’s most in-demand midfielders this summer. Arsenal, in particular, have reportedly identified him as a transfer priority. But, according to Fabrizio Romano, Atletico Madrid are not willing to settle for anything less than the midfielder’s €50 million clause.
It essentially means that failing to meet that price-tag will force the Spanish giants to keep hold of the midfielder, which could serve as a massive blow for Arsenal.
Unlike last summer, the Gunners have had a slow start to their summer transfer window so far, having only signed Willian on a free transfer from Chelsea. And following the return of Dani Ceballos to the Santiago Bernabeu, Mikel Arteta is hell-bent on adding more reinforcements in the midfield unit.
The Spaniard’s desire to sign a new midfielder is further fueled by the fact that Matteo Guendouzi is more than expected to leave Emirates this summer. In fact, the young midfielder has already been courted by FC Barcelona after reportedly falling out with Arteta and his coaching staff in Dubai earlier this year.
The Frenchman’s rash attitude is also not favoured by the management. Thomas, in that regard, is a much more professional individual, having enjoyed immense success at Atletico Madrid.
The Ghanaian international is, in fact, one of the most experienced members of the current Atleti unit, having mustered almost 200 competitive appearances for the club. His no-nonsense defensive attitude, along with his aggression and physicality has made him a dream component in Diego Simeone’s tactical setup.
It is reasonable to assume that Arteta is looking for similar qualities. After all, the Gunners are infamous for their lack of reliable holding midfielders, at least in the past decade.
Although Granit Xhaka has made a strong case for being one of the more reliable members of the current Arsenal squad, the Swiss international is much more effective in a traditional central midfield role. And Thomas, with all his defensive qualities, should allow him to do so next season.
The combination between Xhaka and Thomas could actually add a lot of steel in the Arsenal midfield, thus providing better support for the backline. However, the €50 million price-tag could surely be a troubling proposition for a team, who is struggling financially, following the Coronavirus outbreak.
A lot could depend on whether or not Arsenal manage to get rid of their fringe players like Shkodran Mustafi, Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira, as their potential sales could help the north London giants fund a move for Thomas this summer.