Arsenal handed Thomas Partey £45m transfer boost as Atletico Madrid line up £18m successor
Atletico Madrid have identified a replacement for Arsenal transfer target Thomas Partey, it has been claimed. The Gunners are eager to bring the Ghanaian to the Premier League as Mikel Arteta looks to construct a new-look spine to the side.
Partey has been one of Europe’s stand-out box-to-box midfielders for the past few seasons and the defensive-minded 26-year-old, who also excels at bursting forward, has been identified as a key target by Arteta.
La Liga giants Atletico are understandably keen to keep hold of the player, offering him a new contract until 2025 which reportedly includes both a wage increase and a higher release clause.
His current exit clause stands at around £45million (€50m) – a fee currently out of reach for Arsenal unless they sell players or look to include players in a swap deal for Partey.
Yet according to FootballGhana, Atletico have lined up a successor to Partey in case they do have to part ways with the African.
They claim Getafe’s Mauro Arambarri is the man in their sights, the 25-year-old having missed just two league matches all season for the fifth-placed Madrid club.
FootballGhana add that Partey is unhappy with the terms of the extension offered to him by Atletico.
As such, Atletico have picked out Uruguay international Arambarri – who would cost £18m (€20m) – as Partey’s replacement if Arsenal make a bid for the midfielder.
Partey is currently back training with his team-mates as La Liga prepares to return to action amid the coronavirus crisis next month.
He has made 35 appearances across all competitions so far this season and stood out in Los Rojiblancos’ Champions League defeat of reigning champions Liverpool back in March.
Partey has been hailed by Chelsea and Ghana icon Michael Essien, who says he’d loved to have played alongside his compatriot.
Now 37 but still playing in Azerbaijan, Essien was one of the best destructive midfielders in Europe in a nine-year spell at Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles and the Champions League as well as other honours.
He said in an Instagram Live: “Thomas [Partey] is such a good player. I’d have loved to play with him.
“He is a young and talented player making waves in Europe.
“He is one player I’d liked to play alongside but it will never happen.
“It is their time at the Black Stars now so we have to support them and hopefully they can take it from where we left off.”
Meanwhile, Gunners legend Ian Wright has implored the north London’s hierarchy to give manager Mikel Arteta the “help” he needs.
The Spanish coach is tasked with reversing Arsenal’s fortunes after a slide in recent years, having fallen out of the Champions League.
And Wright told SPORF: “If we’re looking at somebody as a coach with ambition and drive and determination then, without a shadow of a doubt, we’ve got the right person.
“I think you can see that with the intensity, the energy and the passion that the players have got.
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“I did an interview with David Luiz the other day and when you listen to him speak about Mikel Arteta and what he wants and what he expects and the fitness and the drive that the players now have and you can see that there was a change at Arsenal.
“People are saying we’ve drawn a lot of games but there was a change in the output of the players, the intensity, the determination to try and execute the manager’s philosophy.
“And I think, as time goes by, hopefully with help from the owners, he will be somebody that if he is stuck with – which we probably will – then we will be going in the right direction, without a doubt.
“He’s somebody that’s driven to be successful. You can see that in him.”
Wright added: “You have to say we’re going through a transitional period, coming off of [Arsene] Wenger, coming off of Unai Emery and now getting the coach that I believe is going to take us to the promised land.”
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