Premier League • England

One staying, one going at Arsenal, as Fabrizio Romano shuts down ‘aggressive’ Arteta move

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

What’s in store for two exit-linked Arsenal midfielders has been clarified, while Fabrizio Romano has weighed in on a potential signing that could offset the departures.

The Gunners have already sanctioned a series of midfield moves this summer, though the action isn’t likely to end any time soon.

Granit Xhaka has returned to Germany upon joining Bayer Leverkusen. On the arrivals front, Declan Rice cost a club-record £105m to pluck from West Ham and fellow new boy Kai Havertz has been utilised in midfield for much of pre-season.

Elsewhere, Thomas Partey has been heavily linked with leaving amid interest from Juventus and clubs in Saudi Arabia. Albert Sambi Lokonga is understood to be the subject of loan talks with Burnley.

Regarding Lokonga, that news was broken by the Mirror on July 29 and has since been backed up by outlets including the Telegraph and Evening Standard.

A season-long loan is in the works, with Lokonga set to link up with fellow Belgian Vincent Kompany at Turf Moor.

If Partey were to also depart, it stands to reason another midfield arrival might be required. To that end, Italian outlet Calciomcerato claimed Arsenal were ‘trying to aggressively enter the negotiation’ for Frankfurt’s Djibril Sow.

The Switzerland international, 26, is also on Lazio and Sevilla’s radars and per Calcio, the latter have struck an agreement on personal terms with the player.

Calcio suggested Arsenal could yet have the final say on where Sow winds up. However, according to Fabrizio Romano, the Swiss isn’t likely to land in north London.

Explaining why when responding to Sow to Arsenal speculation, Romano suggested Arsenal are happy with Thomas Partey.

With the Ghana international now unlikely to leave, Arsenal have no need to add Sow to their ranks too.

Lokonga is likely to depart, though given he spent the last half of the previous season loaned to Crystal Palace anyway, he won’t need to be directly replaced.

Romano told Caught Offside: “Some fans have asked me about reports in Italy on Djibril Sow, but my understanding is that no decision has been made by Sow yet,” Romano said.

“Lazio and Sevilla are insisting for him, let’s see if Arsenal decide to enter the race, but at the moment they’re happy with Thomas Partey staying.”

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