Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been handed a boost in his pursuit of Atletico Madrid defensive midfielder Thomas Partey. The Gunners are hoping to land the Ghana international, 27, now the transfer window is open.

Reports this week claimed Arsenal have had a player-plus-cash offer rejected by the Spanish giants.

The Gunners are willing to include out-of-favour midfielder Matteo Guendouzi in any deal for Partey.

However, Atletico are instead demanding Partey’s £44m (€50m) release clause is met.

Arsenal are lacking in funds this summer, meaning it’s unlikely they’ll pay the clause outright.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone is desperate to keep Partey as the midfielder is part of his long-term plans.

Simeone wants Partey to pen a new contract and commit his future to Atletico.

However, Goal say, in a boost to Arsenal, that Atletico cannot afford to give their star man a new deal.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Spanish giants are lacking the funds to give Partey a fresh contract.

The news will come as a major boost to Arteta and Arsenal as their pursuit of the midfielder continues.

Arteta has been vocal on the club’s transfer plans, with the Arsenal boss urging transfer chiefs to splash the cash.

He said: “[It’s] Harder and harder [to qualify for the Champions League], because that’s obviously something that has to feed each other.

“If you are not in the Champions League and you say: ‘OK, I don’t invest because I don’t have the financial ability to do it,’ but the other clubs invest, then the gap becomes bigger.

“If I do want to invest and risk, and then I don’t reach it, what happens?

“So at some stage you have to make a decision: whether I want to aim to make that gap closer and go for it, or I stay where I am.

“You see many good examples of teams that have done it [made bold transfer moves] and they have come back to their habit [of Champions League football] on it.”

Arteta also insists Arsenal is still a big draw for players in the transfer market.

“We’ve an incredible history, an incredible structure, in a beautiful city and a style of play that attracts players,” he added.

“And I’m telling you now, because I am closer to the market now – when I speak to people, a lot of players want to play for Arsenal.”


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