Date published: Monday 15th June 2020 8:50
Arsenal have been given a major boost after Atletico reversed course over the availability of a long-time midfield target.
The Gunners’ engine room has long been considered an area of relative weakness.
Former club captain Granit Xhaka has often come in for strong criticism amid questionable antics and underwhelming play. While Lucas Torreira has so far failed to live up to the lofty expectations he arrived with from Serie A.
One player Arsenal seemingly saw as the solution to the problem was Atletico Madrid enforcer Thomas Partey.
The Ghana international, 27, has become a trusted lieutenant in Diego Simeone’s well oiled machine.
His performances were instrumental in knocking Liverpool out of the Champions League at the Round of 16 stage, and interest from abroad quickly materialised.
Atletico appeared to have ruled out an exit despite the player’s £44.8m release clause (€50m). But the latest Spanish reports have revealed a dramatic U-turn.
Spanish radio show Cadena COPE (via The Metro) state that ‘Atletico’s bosses are now keen to cash in on Partey, even for a fee under his buyout.’
The change of direction is explained by the coronavirus pandemic, with Partey seen as one sure fire way to raise much needed funds for a transfer splash.
Partey has ‘resisted attempts’ to sign a new deal, while Atletico’s efforts to insert a larger release clause have failed.
Arsenal are described as being the ‘best placed team’ to pull off the swoop. While Atletico are noted to be fully aware of Arsenal’s desire to land the star.
Meanwhile, Arsenal talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has laid his cards on the table regarding a potential contract extension.
The Gabon superstar has been a shining light in what has otherwise been a bleak few years for the Gunners.
Operating at almost two goals every three games since his arrival, Aubameyang has lived up to expectations.
However, Aubameyang is at a crossroads in his career with just 12 months remaining on his contract.
A recent report detailed one controversial way in which Arsenal could raise the funds to tie the striker down. But a host of European heavyweights have all been reported to be monitoring the situation.
Now, the 30-year-old has reiterated his stance amid the uncertainty, and revealed he is yet to receive an offer from the club in recent times.
“I haven’t recently received a proposition but of course there have been discussions with the club,” he told French outlet Telefoot (via The Metro). Read the full story here.