Atletico Madrid’s highly-touted defensive midfield star Thomas Partey wants to make Arsenal his next club, according to reports.
The Ghana international impressed Premier League audiences with two strong displays as his Spanish side dumped holders Liverpool out of the Champions League in the last 16.
News since then that he wants a move to England has put plenty of clubs on alert but it seems that the player himself has picked Arsenal as his chosen destination, say The Telegraph.
That will be music to the ears of Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, who had identified Partey as a key transfer target earlier this season.
And Arsenal fans will also be thrilled if the deal can be done with many saying that defensive midfielder Partey could finally be the man to step up and perform the shielding role that no-one has done properly since club legend Patrick Vieira departed north London.
The 26-year-old has 15 goals and 12 assists in his 174 appearances for Atletico which also shows he can be a creative force as well although that side of his play will be seen as a bonus.
Partey has a £45million release clause although, in the current uncertain financial climate with transfer fees set to be reduced, it’s uncertain if Arsenal would trigger it.
However, one other option believed to be on the table is that Arsenal and Atletico do a swap deal.
That would see French striker Alexandre Lacazette go the other way, with Arteta believing that he has enough cover up front.
Other options mentioned include like-for-like swaps and a cash adjustment involving Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also been mentioned although it seems less likely that Arteta would want to lose such a prized asset.
Another twist to Partey’s potential move came last month when the striker’s father, Jacob, said talks with the Gunners had already taken place.
The player’s agent was quick to dismiss the claims as totally untrue although the news that Partey wants to make The Emirates his new home could be the key factor to prompt the two clubs to get together and discuss his move from the Wanda Metropolitano.