Arsenal could reportedly be dealt a major transfer blow as Atletico Madrid are said to be taking steps to secure Thomas Partey’s future.
The 26-year-old has established himself as a fundamental figure in Diego Simeone’s XI, making 174 appearances for the senior side after making his breakthrough in 2015.
As an almost ever-present so far this season, his presence in midfield is evidently something that Atleti value highly and they are said to have moved to try and fend off interest in the Ghana international.
According to The Guardian, the Spanish giants have offered to double his £65,000-a-week wages while extending his stay until 2025, and it’s suggested that his release clause could go from €50m to over €100m if he agrees to put pen to paper on the new contract.
That will be a huge setback for Arsenal as not only would it suggest that Partey wants to stay at the Wanda Metropolitano rather than consider an exit, but it would also put Atleti in a significantly more powerful position when it comes to negotiating a fee.
In turn, time will tell what Partey decides to do, with Mikel Arteta undoubtedly hoping to stamp his mark on the squad this summer after being appointed as Unai Emery’s long-term successor in December.
In 28 league games so far this season, the Gunners have conceded 36 goals which gives them the third worst defensive record of the top nine sides in the standings.
With that in mind, bringing in Partey to offer protection in front of the backline to solidify the core of the XI would have been a smart move, but Atleti have plans to give themselves a major boost and hand Arsenal a transfer setback it seems.