Arsenal’s bid to sign Thomas Partey looks to be over after it was claimed he’d decided to stay at Atletico Madrid.
Reports over the past few months have linked the Gunners with a move for the Ghanaian.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly keen to revamp his midfield ahead of his first full season in charge. As such, Partey had been made his top target with a £45m exit clause proving tempting.
Indeed, Atletico boss Diego Simeone admitted last month that the “best clubs” in Europe are after Partey.
“When he’s at his best level consistently, he’s so good that all the best teams in Europe are looking at him,” Simeone said.
Indeed, reports earlier this month claimed technical director Edu was ‘willing to play a cunning ace card’ to sign the Ghanaian.
However, Arsenal look to have missed out on Partey with the player reneging on talk he would join Arsenal.
As per the report, his new deal will see his salary doubled to £130,000 a week. Furthermore, his exit clause is due to raise from €50m to €100m. That new asking price – which converts to £87.2m – will instantly end Arsenal’s hopes of signing Partey.
It’s not known whether the 27-year-old will sign an extension to the terms, or whether the new arrangement will simply replacing his current deal. That is currently due to expire in summer 2023.
Arteta challenges Arsenal board
Arteta, meanwhile, says Arsenal must begin to “risk” financially if they are to return to the Champions League.
Asked how difficult returning to the battle for the top four has become, he said (via the Daily Mail): “Harder and harder because that’s obviously something that has to feed each other.
“If you are not in the Champions League, you say ‘Ok, I don’t invest because I don’t have the finances to do it’. But the other clubs invest, then the gap becomes bigger.
“If I do want to invest and risk, and then I don’t reach it, what happens? So at some stage you have to make a decision. Can we aim to make that gap closer and go for it, or do we stay where we are.
“You see many good examples of teams that have done it [risked] and they have come back to their habit [of being in the Champions League].
“While I am sitting in this chair I’m not [stopping seeing Arsenal as a Champions League club], because that’s the only thing that I think of this football club.”