- Arsenal have made Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey their top target
- Mikel Arteta is keen on strengthening a side which finished eighth last season
- Matteo Guendouzi and Alexandre Lacazette have both reportedly been offered
- Yet the Spanish side are not currently keen on signing French striker Lacazette
Arsenal have reportedly discussed the option of signing Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey in exchange for Gunners duo Matteo Guendouzi and Alexandre Lacazette.
The 27-year-old Ghanaian international Partey is Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s top transfer target this summer and can leave his current club if his £44million release clause is triggered.
With the player himself said to be open to making the move, Gunners’ chiefs have offered Atletico the French pair in a potential swap deal – though the LaLiga side are not said to be keen on Lacazette in particular at this moment in time. ‘For sure they [Arsenal] spoke with Atletico Madrid,’ journalist Fabrizio Romano told Lee Gunner on his YouTube channel.
‘It was during the meeting they had for Thomas [Partey], the first time it was in July. They spoke about Matteo Guendouzi and they spoke also about Lacazette. ‘But at the moment, Atletico Madrid was (sic) not going for Lacazette.’
Partey’s current deal runs until 2023, though it is reported that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in Atletico being unable to offer the player a financially lucrative extension. Simeone is said to be very keen on keeping hold of his player, though talks between Partey and Atletico have not been fruitful.
Romano also said that 29-year-old Lacazette may be subject to a transfer away from the Emirates this summer, depending on other forward moves across Europe. ‘We will have to wait a bit to see about this situation because it will also depend on what will happen to other clubs if Atletico Madrid will sell for example Diego Costa and what will happen with Luis Suarez,’ Romano added.
‘I think in September we will have a domino effect about strikers – with Lacazette, Luis Suarez, Edin Dzeko, Edinson Cavani who has agreements with Benfica. ‘When we have the first one to move, we will have many others as well but I don’t think Lacazette will play in Italy or in Spain.’ Arteta is looking to strengthen his squad this summer after an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League last season, and re-signed Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid on Friday.