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Arsenal told Thomas Partey transfer will be “very difficult” as saga drags on

Arsenal finally securing a deal to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey could now prove to be “very difficult”.

That is the view of former Gunners defender Nigel Winterburn, who claims Barcelona ’s reported interest could be a major stumbling block.

Arsenal have been locked in talks with Atletico for most of the summer as Mikel Arteta looks to secure a deal for the Ghana international.

The Premier League side want to get their man but do not want to pay the midfielder’s release clause.

Partey has a £45million clause in his contract but the Spaniards won’t budge for a penny less.

With central defender Gabriel Magalhaes on his way for £27m, the Gunners are desperate to raise extra funds.

(Image: Rubén de la Fuente Pérez/NurPhoto)
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But the club could also have to deal with late efforts from Barcelona to sign Partey.

And Winterburn thinks a move from the Catalans would make the transfer very difficult.

He told bookmakers.co.uk : “I’m always a little bit worried when the likes of Barcelona are also interested in your target – even when they’re in disarray – because they’re a huge club and you don’t want to be fighting them for a player, because most clubs would lose out in that situation.

(Image: GETTY)

“From my point of view, I’ve always said the structure right through the centre of the team is so pivotal to how a team plays.

“You need strong players straight through the middle – centre-halves, central midfielders and your centre-forwards – they really need to be of a very high standard at this level.

“Arsenal need to look at those areas and Thomas Partey has been linked with a host of clubs, including Arsenal.

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