Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was prepared to give the green light to Thomas Partey’s acquisition prior to his move to Arsenal, according to Matt Law for the Telegraph.
The Blues are without a natural holding player within the squad. Jorginho is a distributor from deep, while the dynamic N’Golo Kante is far more of a box-to-box midfielder.
As the Telegraph’s Matt Law writes in his weekly Chelsea briefing, Declan Rice was the player that Lampard wanted, but his £80M asking price was beyond what the Blues were prepared to pay.
After it became clear that Chelsea were not going to sign Rice, as per the Telegraph, the Blues boss was prepared to give the go-ahead for Thomas Partey to be signed from Atletico Madrid.
As reported by Sky Sports, Arsenal then activated Partey’s £45M release clause. It’s unclear whether the Gunners had become aware of Chelsea’s interest, but they wasted no time getting the deal done.
Partey is another potential Rice alternative to be crossed off the list for Chelsea. It remains to be seen how many more will have to be before they just pay West Ham what they want.