Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has stepped up his transfer pursuit of Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey – but club chiefs remain firm over their valuation of the midfielder.
The Ghana midfielder, who has a release clause of around £45m in his current contract, has been linked numerous times with a switch to the Emirates Stadium this summer
Partey has featured in all but three of Atletico’s La Liga matches this season, including Tuesday night's 2-2 draw with Barcelona, and is able to play at right-back and right midfield too.
And that versatility undoubtedly appeals to Arteta, who is keen to bolster his ranks this summer as he oversees his rebuild in north London.
The Athletic has claimed that the Gunners have 'intensified' their pursuit – but insist on lowering the fee rather than fork out on his release clause.
Partey, it is understood, is keen on a move to the Emirates and it is hoped the Premier League club can negotiate a deal with their Spanish rivals.
Former Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier believes his Atletico Madrid teammate Partey would be a good fit for Arsenal.
“I’d seen him play for Atletico but I didn’t realise how good he is,” Trippier told The Beautiful Game podcast.
“It’s unbelievable, his physicality, how he breaks up play. Technically, he’s got everything."
Comparing Thomas to his former Spurs teammate Mousa Dembele, Trippier added: “He ranks as one of the best midfielders I’ve played with but Mousa is Mousa, he’s on a different planet.
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"Even in training he’s just in cruise control.
"Ask anybody who has played with him and they’ll say Mousa Dembele. That’s how good he was.
"It was frightening. But Thomas is still very young and everybody loves him out here.”
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