A quartet of Arsenal stars have been namechecked as potential summer departures in order to fund a move for highly-rated Atletico midfielder Thomas Partey.
The Ghana international, 26, has developed into a consistent and dynamic all-round performer under Diego Simeone over the last three seasons.
Becoming a trusted lieutenant, Partey’s stellar performances in the engine room were a key factor behind Atletico’s defeat of Liverpool in both legs as they knocked the European champions out of the Champions League at the Round of 16 stage.
Rumours of a switch to North London began to swirl in April, with one report suggesting the Gunners were just one step away from securing Partey’s signature.
A release clause reported to be around the £43m mark wouldn’t appear to be overly expensive in the modern football climate, but due to the uncertainty over football’s finances amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Gunners may have to get creative in the transfer window.
Online publication Football London believes that to be the case, with the outlet listing four stars who could depart in one form or another to facilitate Partey’s arrival.
The first of which is a swap deal for centre-forward Alexandre Lacazette.
The Frenchman reportedly came ‘close to signing for Simeone in 2017,’ but a deal failed to materialise after the club succumbed to a transfer ban relating to the signing of minors.
Guendouzi had impressed under former boss Unai Emery, but unexpectedly fell down the pecking order since Mikel Arteta’s arrival in December.
Xhaka, meanwhile, had a well-documented run-in with the Gunners faithful at the start of the season, ultimately leading to his stripping of the captaincy.
The final and perhaps most controversial option touted surrounds the exit of lethal frontman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,
The Gabon international has been imperious since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in 2018, but with just one year remaining on his current deal, Arsenal face the very real possibility of having to make a difficult decision over his future in North London.