Arsenal set to trigger release clause as star could be Unai Emery first signing

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According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United and Arsenal are set to battle it out for the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey in the summer transfer window.

Unai Emery was spotted attending Atletico Madrid’s final game of the season against Levante this weekend, amid rumours of Arsenal interest in Partey.

Emery’s side missed out on a top four place by a single point but can still gain entry to the Champions League should they beat Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku on May 29.

The Spanish manager is already said to have identified the areas in which he hopes to strengthen, with a centre-half and a new full-backs understood to be a priority.

Despite improving on last season’s performance, particularly in matches against the top six, Arsenal’s leaky defence which conceded 51 goals was ultimately responsible for finishing behind Chelsea and Tottenham.

Partey has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Arsenal for a couple of months now, after a source close to the player claimed he would be interested in a Premier League move.

Those links resurfaced again this week, as the player’s agent confirmed via the Sun that his client has a release clause in his contract.

“There’s a €50m (£43.5m) release clause in his contract, a figure that’s cheap for a player like Thomas,” Daniel Jimenez said. “We’ll wait for the season to end and then we’ll see.”

United finished the season with a poor run of results against the likes of relegated teams like Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town and the manager clearly needs to revamp his squad in the summer to challenge for silverware.

The 25 year old has entered his prime years and United have every reason to look at him as an excellent long-term investment. Going by what he has shown so far in the La Liga,

Partey signed for Atletico as a talented youngster from Ghana back in 2011 and played for the club’s reserve team for a couple of years before making his professional debut in the 2015-16 season, following a successful loan spell at fellow La Liga club Almeria.

Partey has made a total of 139 appearances for the Rojiblancos in all competitions till date, accumulating 12 goals and 11 assists, returns which are quite good for a defensive midfielder.



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