Arsenal: Midfield engine set to snub Gunners to extend Atletico stay

Mikel Arteta eyes Arsenal’s midfield as the priority for the upcoming summer transfer market.

Amid reports of concrete interest from the Gunners, Thomas Partey, after a series of discussions with his entourage and Atletico Madrid, is set to pen an improved deal to extend his stay with the Spanish club.

This comes as a significant blow to Arsenal as the technical staff envisaged Partey as an ideal fit to anchor Arteta’s midfield and execute a fluid possession-based brand of football. Given the Ghana international’s previous desire to leave Atletico, the Gunners hoped of signing the midfielder for a fee cheaper than his release clause of €50m (£45.5m).

The midfielder is ‘on the verge’ of signing an extension with Diego Simeone’s side.

Partey’s long-term future is becoming clearer and ‘everything indicates’ he will continue with the La Liga side.

After evaluating the contract offer for months, Thomas has decided to continue in Madrid. He is ‘close to saying yes’ to the Spanish side. (Sport Witness)

It’s understood that Arsenal had triggered the release clause, allowing the 27-year-old to negotiate with the representatives of the London club. The player’s entourage, however, was reticent about choosing the Premier League side as their next project.

Now with Arsenal set to miss out on European football next season, the Atletico Madrid’s academy graduate has decided to extend his stay at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, citing ‘sporting level’ not good enough to pursue a move to England.

Contract wise, Partey will see his weekly wage doubled to €143,000 (£130,000), running for five seasons. Also, the release clause is set to be ranging around €100m.

Previously, Manchester United were said to be in the race to acquire the services of Partey, however, Nemanja Matic’s spectacular resurgence has meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, at this point, is not concerned about his defensive midfield.

On the other hand, Mikel Arteta has a few important moves to decide before fixing his midfield for the upcoming campaign. Arsenal’s management needs to sort out the futures of Dani Ceballos and Ainsley Maitland Niles before entering the transfer market.

Mateo Guendouzi has been working alone since his ugly on-field spat after the Brighton loss. He could have seen his last game as a Gunner, as the player is yet to feature since then. Working with a limited financial scope, Arsenal would have to generate funds from the squad itself to invest this summer.

Coach Mikel Arteta explained his concern by saying;

I don’t know [how much money I will have to spend]. It’s a big concern because you just have to see how they build those squads and there’s no magic.

You need to improve with quality, quality players to the squad and you need bigger squads to compete in this competition. That is the challenge.

We are in a process, we don’t know at the moment. There is a lot of uncertainty in many areas. (Sky Sports via The Express)

Possible departures for Arsenal

After an extremely underwhelming season under the tutelage of two coaches, Arsenal would have to make prominent changes to impart balance to the squad which lacks a direction at the moment.

Despite a 2-1 victory against Premier League champions, Arteta is aware of the massive gulf of quality between his side and the domestic heavyweights.

To make a step forward, the board members are planning to cull a number of high-earning superstars – Mesut Ozil, Mateo Guendouzi, Alexandre Lacazette, and Shkodran Mustafi to name a few.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose contract extension talks are going tediously, could be let go should parties fail to reach a consensus.

Who do you think Arsenal will sign instead of Thomas Partey? Let us know in comments.