It’s been a bittersweet day in the transfer market for Arsenal as manager Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his Gunners squad following a disappointing 8th placed Premier League finish this season.
The good news is that Dani Ceballos, who has been on loan at the Emirates Stadium from Real Madrid this campaign, is reported to be close to penning a permanent contract at Arsenal.
Ceballos is said to not be in the plans of current Real coach Zinedine Zidane, and according to Spanish news outlet AS, the midfielder’s focus is to stay in North London for another season.
Other reports from Spain also suggest that Real Madrid’s need to make some cash this summer will encourage them to sell Ceballos to Arsenal, with newspaper Marca claiming €30-35m could be enough to make the switch permanent.
It is in the middle of the park where Arteta and Sporting Director Edu are seemingly keen to bolster their ranks, with Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey on the Gunners’ radar.
Partey has been linked with a move to the Premier League for the past 18 months, with Arsenal supposedly in pole position for the 27-year-old’s signature.
The Ghana international has a release clause of €50m, and still has three years remaining on his current Atletico deal – but the Gunners remain confident they can land their man.
Earlier this month, The Guardian reported Arsenal had offered £23m for Partey’s services – approximately half of his €50m release clause – but that was rejected.
Now reports claim that out-of-favour midfielder Matteo Guendouzi was offered as a makeweight in order to up the ante, and tempt Atletico in to accepting a lower price for Partey.
Guendouzi reportedly had a bust-up with gaffer Mikel Arteta shortly after the Premier League’s resumption and hasn’t featured for Arsenal in the last 10 games in all competitions.
Despite the offer of Guendouzi, Partey won’t be leaving the Wanda Metropolitano any time soon it seems, as the player plus cash bid was also rejected.
In the past, Alexandre Lacazette has been of interest to Atletico Madrid – however it is unlikely that Arteta will use the Frenchman as a bargaining chip to secure Partey at the expense of weakening his forward line.