Arsenal hatch cunning transfer plan to boost Mikel Arteta’s squad with clever £43m deal

The Arsenal hierarchy are looking to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s side ahead of the summer transfer window.

Arsenal have come in contact with Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey’s representatives as they are looking to meet his £43million (€50m) release clause. According to Libertad Digital, the Gunners want to move quickly as Atletico are currently holding talks with Thomas’ agent over a new contract that would hike up his asking price.

Arsenal are said to be keen to ensure they can sign Thomas for the lower fee and seem to have contacted his team in a bid to ensure he doesn’t put pen to paper on a new deal.

The defensive midfielder was in exceptional form during the La Liga giants’ 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The Ghana international dictated the pace throughout Tuesday’s encounter and kept Jurgen Klopp’s attack at bay with his tireless work in midfield.

This comes as no surprise as the 26-year-old has been in sensational form for Diego Simeone’s side this season as he has made a total of 24 league appearances and seven in the Champions League.

Thomas has played an integral part in Atleti’s incredible defensive record that has seen them concede only 19 goals in 26 league matches.

And he insists that his future lies in Madrid as he admitted that his representatives are in talks with the club over renewing his contract.

Thomas previously said: “Atletico is my home, the club that gave everything, where I want to be.

“My agent is talking to the club about the renovation. I hope everything goes well.”

Arteta is looking to improve his squad ahead of next season following a turbulent campaign that has seen Arsenal slump to 10th place.

The north Londoners’ hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next term have been dramatically diminished following Thursday’s Europa League elimination to Olympiakos.

Arsenal now need to finish in the Premier league’s top four but that won’t be easy as they are currently eight points adrift of fourth place.

The lack of Champions League football will make it harder for Arteta to sign elite players in the summer and it will also make it difficult to hold on to some of his biggest stars.

The Spaniard is facing the prospect of losing his leading goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is being targeted by Barcelona.

The ex-Manchester City assistant manager is now focused on raising the team’s morale after their shock Europa League exit ahead of Monday’s FA Cup tie against Portsmouth at Fratton Park (7.45pm).

Arsenal will then return to Premier League action as they will take on London rivals West Ham at the Emirates (3pm).

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