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Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey has been a No.1 target for Arsenal throughout the course of the summer.
The Gunners top brass made the 27-year-old Ghanaian international their main midfield target and have been patiently hoping that they could reach agreements with both he and Atletico Madrid.
Atletico have remained resistant to approaches however, detailing they would only sell if the £45million release clause in his contract was met.
The Spanish giants have not wavered on that stance and have been looking to tie Partey down to a new contract, which would allow them to substantially raise that clause.
But Partey, whose current deal runs until 2023, has held out in negotiations, surveying the landscape after being attached to Atleti for seven years.
He rejected the offer of a new contract earlier in the summer and little has been found in the way of a resolution since.
Now, in the clearest indication yet that he will exit for new challenge in north London, Marca reports that Atletico are ready to move for Espanyol’s Marc Roca as his replacement – and need to move on Partey to fund the deal.
The question now is whether they will be ready to lower their demands for his release clause to be paid?
Or will they continue to demand from Arsenal the full £45million, rather than any cash-plus-player deal, as have previously been mooted.
Partey, a key man who made 46 appearances for Atletico last season, is understood to be keen on a Premier League switch.
But so far, Arsenal haven’t shown any inclination to make the move to meet his full release.
However, Partey’s continued hold out and Atletico’s push for a replacement appears to suggest their resistance is fading with regards persuading him to remain.
With a month left in the transfer window, there is still plenty of time for a deal to be agreed. But do Arsenal or Atletico make the first move to get a Partey deal done?