Clubs from Saudi Arabia will hold more talks with Arsenal about signing Thomas Partey “within the next few days”, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
The Gunners are believed to be open to selling the Ghanaian international this summer but, writing in his column for Caught Offside, Romano said the player is not keen on moving to the Middle East:
“I’m told Saudi clubs will try to approach Thomas Partey again in the next few days. On the player side, the priority remains European football and he wants to continue in Europe. Let’s see if Saudi clubs will be able to change his mind. As previously reported, it will also be important to persuade Arsenal because they want an important fee to let Partey go.”
It remains to be seen what sort of fee the London club are looking for, but they are not expected to recoup the full £45m that they paid Atletico Madrid for Partey almost three years ago.
Even so, Saudi Arabia is probably the Gunners’ preference, even if it isn’t the player’s, as clubs from that country are prepared to pay a higher amount than European teams. It has been reported that they could offer as much as €40m (£34m).
In contrast, Juventus, who have been linked with a move for Partey over the past month, are only willing to bid half that amount, with reports in Italy suggesting the Bianconeri could table a proposal in the region of €18m (£15.3m) to €20m (£17m).
Why are Arsenal looking to sell Partey?
It should be pointed out that Mikel Arteta’s side have not placed the Ghanaian on the transfer list but there is a willingness to let him leave if the price is right.
There are a couple of reasons why the club are looking to offload Partey now. He turned 30 just under a month ago and it is likely that his value will only begin to depreciate. On top of that, the midfielder only has two years remaining on his contract so, if he doesn’t sign an extension, this summer is seen as a good time to sell in order to make the most money.
From what Romano is saying, it appears that Saudi Arabian teams will make a concerted effort to sign Partey before the end of the week so we could find out very soon if the midfielder’s stance on a move has changed.