Arsenal’s £45m Partey transfer is ‘open secret’ with Atletico set to lose star

Arsenal are expected to land Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey in a £45m deal according to reports in Spain.

The Gunners' interest in the Ghanaian is said to be an "open secret" with a lack of Champions League football not expected to affect the deal.

Atletico are resigned to Partey's departure and are already looking to identify potential replacements.

The combative midfielder played a crucial role as Diego Simeone's side knocked Liverpool out of the Champions League in March.

And Mikel Arteta sees his £45m release clause as a bargain with a central midfielder on his shopping list.

The Gunners have the likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka to pick from but Partey would add another dimension.

And La Razon understands that leaving a side who regularly compete in Europe is not likely to be an issue.

Partey has been a mainstay in the Atletico XI for several years and played in their 2016 Champions League Final loss.

Arteta is set to shape his squad at the Emirates having arrived in December to succeed Unai Emery.

The loan signing of Pablo Mari in January is the only new arrival he's sanctioned thus far.

But, much like Emery last year, the Spaniard may have to be clever in the transfer market if he wants to secure his desired targets.

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Last summer the Gunners welcomed record-signing Nicolas Pepe, but are paying his £72m fee in installments.

William Saliba, who was signed 12 months ago, will join from Saint Etienne which could go someway to solving the team's defensive problems.

The future of top goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also needs to be resolved, with his potential departure raising funds for new arrivals.

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