According to Football London’s James Benge, it’s been suggested that Arsenal would need to qualify for the Champions League if they were to seal the signing of summer target Thomas Partey.
Partey has been sensational for Atletico Madrid over the past couple of years, progressing from a rotation option to a cornerstone of Diego Simeone’s team.
Benge claims that the Ghanaian ‘ticks all’ the boxes that Arsenal are looking at for potential midfield reinforcements.
The Football.London reporter suggests that the 26-year-old would be available for £43.5m – a fee that Arsenal would usually be able to part with.
Benge reiterates that the Gunners – probably like many other clubs, are in ‘no position’ to make ‘big financial commitments’ due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Benge suggests that Arsenal would only have the funds required to make a move for Partey if they were to qualify for the Champions League this season.
Here’s what Benge had to say when questioned on the chances of Partey joining Arsenal in the summer:
“Joining Arsenal, that’s really jumping the gun there,”
“Arsenal want a combative, powerful midfielder who can dominate play in the middle area, can make contributions in both boxes and win the ball back.”
“Partey ticks all those boxes. A fantastic player, he’s got a release clause that a club like Arsenal would look at and say that’s within their financial means under normal circumstances. It’s about £43.5m.”
“So much is up in the air in terms of this transfer right now though. You have his contract talks with Atletico Madrid. Atletico would want to keep him.”
“You have the simple reality of coronavirus which means Arsenal are in no position to make any big financial commitments like that just yet.”
“If they qualify for the Champions League that money might become available.”
Arsenal are actually facing no European football at all next season owing to their 9th placed position in the Premier League and being knocked out of the Europa League.
The Gunners are five points off rivals Manchester United in fifth place – this place seems likely to receive a spot in the Champions League should Manchester City’s ban by UEFA be upheld.
Considering that the Coronavirus pandemic could lead to the season not resuming at all, it appears that Arsenal only have a very slim chance of signing Partey.
The defensive midfielder would be a fine addition to an Arsenal side that have lacked stability on the defensive side of the pitch for several years.
Partey proved himself as one of the world’s best ball-winning midfielders with two sensational performances against Liverpool.