Arsenal want to add at least two more signings after the capture of Willian – and Thomas Partey remains their top target.
Mikel Arteta is overseeing his first summer transfer window in charge at the Emirates Stadium. And he has already been busy – bringing in Willian after confirming permanent deals for Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari.
Arsenal still need to strengthen further if they are to restore their rightful position among the Premier League elite, though.
According to the Star, Arteta wants Arsenal to make two or more additional signings. Elaborating further, they reveal that a midfielder and a centre-back are at the top of the shopping list.
While the identity of the new defender remains unclear – they wanted Gabriel Magalhaes, but the Lille star is now close to Napoli – there is one name firmly in mind for the midfield role. It is, of course, Thomas Partey.
The Ghana international has emerged as Arsenal’s top target for the summer. Thomas has three years left on his contract, but Atletico cannot stand in his way if another club activates his €50m release clause.
But Atleti won’t be giving any discounts on that price tag. Indeed, previous reports have suggested they have rejected offers from Arsenal that had used players as counterparts to reduce the cost.
SEVEN UP FOR SALE TO RAISE PARTEY FUNDS
Nonetheless, the Star say Arsenal will go on in their pursuit of Thomas undeterred. They are now willing to put seven players on the market to raise the funds they need.
The players at risk are Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mohamed Elneny, Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers.
Arteta has already admitted he has a difficult situation on his hands with Ozil and Guendouzi. The midfield duo barely featured in the last weeks of the season – with the latter facing disciplinary problems.
Reports have also revealed that Maitland-Niles is wanted by several other Premier League clubs. The versatile Englishman is unsettled at the Emirates Stadium due to what he feels is a lack of trust from Arteta.
Mkhitaryan has impressed on loan this season at Roma, who have a preliminary agreement to keep him. Elneny has also spent the past campaign away from the Emirates, playing in Turkey with Besiktas.
As for defenders Mustafi and Chambers, both have struggled with injury issues in recent months. Mustafi has already hinted he would like to go back to his native Germany, while Fulham are trying to re-sign Chambers, whom they had on loan last time they were in the Premier League.
Alexandre Lacazette could also leave, but Arsenal’s hopes of using him in a swap for Thomas have faded, as Diego Simeone wants to look at different strike targets.
Even with all those potential outgoings, Arsenal are still hesitant to pay the full price for Thomas. Therefore, they may ask the 27-year-old to take matters into his own hands with a transfer request.