Thomas Partey’s Arsenal return date confirmed as Mikel Arteta eyes £30m transfer

Here is your Arsenal morning digest for Saturday, January 2.

Gunners eye Roma ace

Arsenal have joined Premier League rivals Everton and Leicester City in the race to sign Roma centre-back Roger Ibanez, according to reports.

The 22-year-old Brazilian defender is currently on loan at Roma’s Serie A rivals – Atalanta – and has made a real name for himself with a string of impressive performances.

Although the defender is valued at £18million, Roma are not willing to sell him for less than £30million, meaning it could potentially put Arsenal off concluding a deal, with manager Mikel Arteta likely to favour strengthening his attacking options this month.

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But despite interest from the Premier League, it is Atalanta who are in the driving seat to win the race for Ibanez. As part of the terms within his loan deal, the Italian outfit have the obligation to sign him on a permanent basis if specific criteria are met.

However, should a permanent switch to Atalanta not materialise, and Arsenal win the race for him, it could be a damaging blow to William Saliba’s Gunners career, as the arrival of a new centre-back could push him further down the pecking order.

Partey nears return

Summer signing Thomas Partey is edging closer and closer towards a return to action following a spell on the sidelines with a thigh injury.

After originally picking up the injury back in November, the former Atletico Madrid man suffered a recurrence of the problem in the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month.

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However, although understands tonight’s clash with West Bromwich Albion will come too soon for Partey to make his return, next weekend’s FA Cup third round clash with Newcastle United could present the defensive-midfielder with an opportunity to return.

The Gunners medical team…