Thomas Partey making it difficult for Arsenal to complete transfer with Atletico Madrid

Thomas Partey is not making it easy for Arsenal to take him to the Etihad Stadium this summer as the Gunners have come across another roadblock in their pursuit of the Atletico Madrid star.

Mikel Arteta is looking to put his stamp on the team in this transfer window and has already captured Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes and Willian.

Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has also returned for a second loan spell.

Arsenal still really want a dynamic midfielder who can be the heartbeat of the team.

They have identified Atletico ace Partey as their top target and saw two bids rejected so far this window.

The La Liga outfit are adamant that they will not sell the 27-year-old for any less than his £45million release clause.

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The Athletic claims there would also be an issue with wages as Partey has ‘very high’ salary expectations.

Most of Arsenal’s funds this summer may be tied up in trying to get Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign a new contract.

Talks are ongoing behind the scenes on a new deal as they do not want to lose their top goalscorer for free next year.

If the Gabon international pens a lucrative extension it will only make things more difficult if they want to sign Partey.

Former Gunners star Ray Parlour thinks there is one player who should be sold to make room for Partey.

“Lacazette will be the one, the asset,” he said.

“You look at the assets they’ve got, there isn’t many really.

“They’ve got Aubameyang, but with him you’re not going to get as much as you’d like because, currently, he’s only got a year left on his contract.

“Probably the asset will be Lacazette. I know Juventus were interested in maybe buying him. Sometimes you have to lose a player to bring players in. You do need to freshen up the dressing room.

“I like Lacazette, he’s a decent player, but we have Eddie Nketiah and it’s all about whether he can step up now and improve as a centre-forward.

“That’s what Arteta will be looking at in training, ‘is he good enough to play week-in week-out as a striker?’

“Probably not at the moment, but he can improve and probably can do in a couple of years’ time.”

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