Arsenal would only be able to pay the £45 million fee required to sign Thomas Partey in instalments, and Granit Xhaka could be sacrificed to raise funds, according to new claims from 90Min.
While the Gunners are not exactly flush with cash right now, reports continue to link Mikel Arteta’s side with a move for one of the most complete central midfielders in European football.
Try as they might, Atletico have failed to tie down the increasingly influential Partey to a new contract, meaning a bargain £45 million release-clause is still there, just waiting to be triggered.
But while Arsenal would jump at the chance to sign a Ghana international who would represent an immediate and sizeable upgrade on the midfielders currently at Arteta’s disposal, it is not quite that simple.
With the north London giants set to miss out on the riches of the Champions League once again, they will have to get creative in the transfer market.
90Min suggests that they would have to pay Partey’s price-tag over a number of transfer windows; similar to the deal that brought Nicolas Pepe to the Emirates last year.
The fleet-footed Ivorian become Arsenal’s record signing on paper. But, as the Mail points out, just £20 million of that £72 million fee was paid to Lille up front.
Whether Atletico are willing to accept a similar situation remains to be seen. Partey is one of the first names on Diego Simeone’s team sheet right now and the departure of another key player would stunt Atleti’s hopes of challenging for the La Liga title again any time soon.
Interestingly, 90Min suggests that former club captain Xhaka could be sold along with the talented yet troublesome Matteo Guendouzi as Arsenal weigh up their options.
“Thomas Partey is world class. You can see his quality, you can see why he’s a wanted man,” Kwasi Appiah told GhanaWeb. “The guy is a sensational talent.”