Thomas Partey to Arsenal: The latest
We sat down with @DeanJamesSBTB the co-host of the Saved by the Bellerin Podcast (@SBTBPod) to discuss the latest on Thomas Partey and all things Arsenal....
So what is the latest on Thomas Partey?
Dean: Funny you should say that, he recently just hired a new PR guy, a friend of his by the name of Samuel Zigah @Delazig. Who is a Gooner funnily enough.
Thomas Partey's Agency, JJ Sports Management Agency, also represent Idrissu Baba who plays for Mallorca and is a target for Atlético Madrid should Partey leave. They've met and assured Atlético that they'll facilitate the move to replace Thomas Partey.
It's being reported in Ghana that Arsenal believe they've won the race for Thomas Partey's signature, having "almost every aspect of the deal" agreed and completed.
Interesting..do you believe he will sign for Arsenal this summer transfer window?
Dean: I believe that all the signs currently are pointing to him coming to Arsenal this window.
From what you understand, how far has the move progressed? Have fees been agreed etc?
Dean: Obviously since the Covid Pandemic things are moving at a different pace in every day life and that includes Football. Partey has a €50m (£44.5m) Release-Clause, which it was recently reported Arsenal are more than willing to activate. Other stories have indicated possible swap deals, including Alexandre Lacazette, a player highly admired by Atlético, going the other way. From the selling perspective, Madrid have had an offer on the table for Thomas, since October, which appears to talk about double his wages along with appearance bonuses but the player has constantly neglected what's being suggested and has reportedly indicated his disappointment in the offer, this is as well as telling friends and family he wants to leave Atlético and move to England, specifically Arsenal.
Naturally it isn’t easy with the current situation but if you were to rate the chances of Partey joining Arsenal this summer out of 10 what would they be?
Dean: Right now... 8.5, edging for 9.
What do you believes he bring to Arsenal should he make the move?
Dean: If we sign Thomas Partey, I strongly believe we'll be getting a massive missing piece of the puzzle we've been looking for, since the days of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto. He's tough, agile and speedy. He works well on both the ground and in the air. He's a warrior who isn't afraid to take on opposition. I also believe he for the most part would also be the foundation of all passing moves The Arsenal string together.
There have been a lot of reports that Arsenal may not have the funds to make significant dealings this summer, do you expect Arsenal to have to sell before they could make a signing like this?
Dean: Absolutely not... Every year we see the same old line that Arsenal can't afford x and y, only with a different reason behind it, this season it's Covid... Arsenal are owned by KSE, worth £8.2bn. They have over £220m in cash reserves which the club confirmed can be used as KSE will be investing to cover any losses occuring due to the Pandemic. Ontop of that KSE can invest (I stress can) £255m before the FFP line even reaches them.
That's not to say the club won't possibly look at "swaps" or other creative manners in which to procure players.
Other than Partey, do you expect the club to do much business? In terms of outgoings as well as incomings?
Dean: Yeah, I see a number of outgoings as well as a couple more incomings... Probably not of the "name" calibre we'd generally hope for, but definitely good players.
Who do you see leaving Arsenal? Could Aubamayeng be one of the names out the door?
Dean: No, I firmly believe Aubameyang will be staying. I don't think he wants to go but this is probably going to be his last big contract so he's trying to secure the bag as it were... I don't see any destination for him either with Inter, Barcelona, Madrid and Chelsea, all clubs he was linked with, having other targets. For me I believe we'll see the door open for the likes of Kostas Mavropanos unfortunately because I'd like to see him get a chance here, Sokratis, Holding and Mustafi. Probably Elneny, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mkhitaryan, then Lacazette and the odd loan here and there.