Premier League • England

Arsenal to shatter Man City dream with first of two big-money transfers close to completion

Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey

Arsenal are close to finalising the sale of Thomas Partey and how much they’ll receive has emerged, while his direct replacement could be a player Manchester City had hoped to sign in 2025, according to reports.

Arsenal explored the sale of Partey, 31, in the previous summer window. Moves to Saudi Arabia or Juventus were on the table, though the combative midfielder ultimately remained in north London.

However, injuries restricted the Ghana international to a mere 16 appearances last season and with just one year remaining on his contract, an exit now looks certain.

Indeed, the Gunners reportedly have zero intention of offering an extension and the current window – which opened today – represents the ideal time to cash in.

Partey is once again being courted by clubs in the Saudi Pro League. Transfer insider Rudy Galetti exclusively told TEAMtalk discussions over his move to the middle east had recently reignited.

Precisely which club Partey would join isn’t yet clear, though what is clear is it will be one of the four PIF-backed sides (Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli). Al-Hilal and Al-Ahli showed the strongest interest from the Saudi contingent last year.

Partey exit accelerates; likely fee revealed

According to subsequent updates elsewhere in the media, Partey’s transfer is accelerating rapidly.

Firstly, ESPN claimed the midfielder is ‘close to finalising a move’. Secondly, Football Insider offered insight as to the sum Arsenal are in line to receive.

They stated Arsenal can expect to collect a fee in the £20m-£25m range. That is some way below the £45m they paid Atletico Madrid four years ago, though represents a sizeable fee for a player now in his 30s, entering the final year of his contract and who struggled with injuries last season.

Partey – as you might expect with transfers to the SPL – can expect to sign a mega-money deal if putting pen to paper.

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Partey out, Man City target Zubimendi in?

Partey’s exit will free up room and funds for a younger and hungrier arrival.

According to FI, the man Mikel Arteta and Edu could sign to fill the void is Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad.

The 25-year-old is a long-time target of Arsenal’s and can be signed via a €60m/£51m release clause.

Interest in Zubimendi by way of Man City has recently surfaced. The Premier League champions have reportedly lined up Zubimendi as well as Bayer Leverkusen attacker Florian Wirtz for transfers in 2025.

Arsenal could shatter that dream by moving for Zubimendi 12 months earlier and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has suggested a move is viable.

There has been speculation Zubimendi is perfectly content at his boyhood club and as such, could reject the chance to leave even if a club the size of Arsenal came calling.

However, Romano recently suggested such claims are a tad premature.

“We keep hearing a lot of stories about Martin Zubimendi, who has been linked several times mostly with Arsenal and Barcelona, while some outlets are now stating that he is unlikely to leave Real Sociedad as he is happy and settled in his hometown and not looking to leave the Basque region,” said the reporter.

“However, my understanding remains is that this is not decided yet. Zubimendi’s future, his decision, is still not clear yet – it remains an open situation, and he has a €60m release clause.”

Arsenal will fancy their chances of convincing Zubimendi to move to north London. The Gunners are most definitely a team on the rise and came within a whisker of lifting the Premier League title last season.

Zubimendi would likely slot straight into Arteta’s midfield three alongside Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard. Jorginho would revert to a bench role, while Kai Havertz can also play in midfield if Arteta favours a more attack-minded trio.

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