Thomas Partey has told Atletico Madrid he wants to leave this summer and that his preference is to sign for Manchester United, claims an journalist who specialises in African transfers.
The 26-year-old Ghanaian international recently caught the eye of English viewers with a robust and classy display at Anfield as Atletico stunned holders Liverpool with a 3-2 win in the second leg to advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
He’s become a key man for Diego Simeone’s side and his impressive performance against Jurgen Klopp’s men has again put some of Europe’s big clubs on alert.
Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claimed that Arsenal have ‘€50m on the table’ for Partey, who is now ‘one step away’ from a move to the Emirates.
And those rumours appeared to have gathered steam when Partey’s father spoke out to confirm talks had been held with the Gunners.
Speaking to Richmond Entsie on Ghana-based radio station Tru FM , Jacob said: “I called my son after hearing the rumours and he told me that the rumours are true.
“He told me they are holding talks between him and Arsenal. It all depends on the offer Atletico are demanding.”
However, well-respected Accra-based journalist Saddick Adams, who specialises in African football, believes the Arsenal rumours are something of a smokescreen and he understands the midfielder would, in fact, prefer a transfer to fellow suitors Manchester United.
He tweeted: “Yesterday, a close source to Thomas Partey told me the player doesn’t want to extend his stay at Atletico and is favouring a move to the Premiership. And that loves the United link. Deal could even be sooner than expected.
“Starting to believe this whole thing…”
Considering United are in the market for a long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic, a move for Partey would make a lot of sense and the Ghanaian’s robust display in the heart of midfield against Liverpool last month will have done him plenty of favours.
And the €50m clause that exists in his contract is likely to be a major appeal to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men; Atletico are looking to reward the midfielder with a new deal and thus extend that clause to a far higher amount.
But with claims mounting that Partey wants out, he could give Solskjaer’s midfield the steel, quality and mobility it needs.