Arsenal are claimed to be ready to pull the plug on their pursuit of Thomas Partey, and I fear that our widely-speculated interest will now backfire, opening the door to one of our rivals to pick up where we left off.
When I say ‘one of’ our rivals, I more specifically think that Manchester United will waste no time in swooping in to land the Ghanaian international, strengthening one of their weakest positions, although City could also do with a player of his ilk this summer also.
Arsenal have done all the groundwork in tempting Partey into considering life as a Premier League player, with all signs pointing towards the midfielder having decided that he wants a change from La Liga, but the past 12 months have not gone to plan.
Nobody could have seen the Coronavirus pandemic coming, let alone consider that we would have seen our side drop out the race for European football, although we still have one last lifeline from the FA Cup final come Saturday, although Chelsea will not roll over willingly. All of this has had implications on our finances, and the prospect of having to pay Partey’s minimum fee release clause in order to sign him (believed to be around £45 Million) seems unfeasible at present.
Get French Football News has stated that Arsenal’s latest bid of around £23 Million plus Matteo Guendouzi was rejected by Atletico, who are holding out for the full £45 Million clause, naming journalist Fabrizio Romano as their source of information.
With Arsenal out of the running, Partey could well consider accepting the supposed contract offer which was tabled by his current club, but I assume that the player has already made his mind up, and that he will find himself a new home going into the new season.
Liverpool are also believed to be in the hunt for a new defensive midfielder, but reports seem to intimate that they will be spending very little in the current window, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Manchester City also register an interest in the 27 year-old.
City’s main defensive midfielder Fernandinho is currently 35 years-old, and has spent much of the campaign playing as a central defender, leaving the injury-prone Ilkay Gundogan and Spaniard Rodri to share the deeper midfield role, and one could argue that their defence hasn’t been given enough protection this season.
Will Arsenal’s season-long pursuit of Partey backfire, and see him strengthen one of our rivals problem areas instead?