Atletico Madrid are interested in offering midfielder Thomas Partey in a straight swap with Liverpool for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to reports.
Ghana international Partey has become one of Europe’s most sought-after defensive midfielders in recent seasons with his powerful presence in the middle of the park.
Indeed, the 26-year-old put himself in the shop window with his performances in both legs of the Champions League last-16 tie between Liverpool and Atletico this season.
According to The Sun, Atletico are “resigned” to losing Partey when the transfer window re-opens but are aware that Arsenal are unlikely to be able to afford the player’s £46million release clause.
Instead, the Spanish giants have looked to Liverpool and want to press on with a swap deal involving Oxlade-Chamberlain, the sort of deal that could be popular given the financial uncertainties hitting the sport.
However, the newspaper reports that Liverpool are “unlikely” to be open to such an offer, given that Oxlade-Chamberlain remains key in boss Jurgen Klopp’s plans.
The England international had a blistering first season at Anfield with crucial goals against Manchester City but a serious knee injury saw him miss virtually all of the last campaign.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has hit back this time round, however, scoring seven goals and assisting one other in all competitions.
Atletico could still look to keep Partey and would be willing to double his wages from their current £65,000 per week mark.
However, The Sun claims that their stance will likely be to look for a swap deal if another club is willing to trade.
In other news, Liverpool are reportedly weighing up handing Sadio Mane a new deal to fend off interest from Real Madrid.