According to The Sun, Arsenal have been handed a boost in our pursuit of Thomas Partey as Atletico Madrid have opened talks with Espanyol to sign Marc Roca as a potential replacement.
Mikel Arteta knows he needs to overhaul the squad he inherited from Unai Emery and we’ve already snapped-up winger Willian on a free transfer while centre-back Gabriel is reportedly due to arrive from Lille.
However, central midfield is a troublesome area for Arsenal that needs sorted as Matteo Guendouzi is set to leave after falling out with Arteta and Lucas Torreira is being tipped to head back to Italy after struggling to hold down a regular spot.
Arsenal have also not yet reached an agreement to re-sign Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid so we’re going to be desperately short of quality in the middle of the park unless we bring in a couple of midfielders this summer.
Partey has been widely touted as Arteta’s prime target as Arsenal have been strongly linked with him in recent months but we’re struggling to get a deal agreed with Atletico Madrid for his signature.
As per The Sun, Madrid want the full value of Partey’s £45m release clause and Arsenal are struggling to afford that fee on top of the players £200,000-a-week wage demands. It’s led to the proposed deal stalling and recent reports have suggested Arsenal have threatened to walk away from the negotiating table.
Perhaps that threat has kicked Atletico into action as The Sun are citing a report from AS that claims the La Liga outfit have now opened talks with Espanyol to discuss a potential £13.5m deal to sign Roca.
Given Atletico’s financial situation, it’s unlikely they’d sign Roca without selling one of their current players and as Roca and Partey play in the same role, the chances are they’ve identified the Espanyol man as a replacement.
This could spell good news for Arsenal. If Atletico can sign Roca for just £13.5m, then they may be willing to accept a lower fee for Partey and his move to the Emirates could be back ON.
The Ghana international would be an excellent addition to Arteta’s squad so let’s hope we can finally get a deal agreed over the coming weeks.