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Arsenal make transfer move for Thomas Partey

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Or maybe they haven’t. Isn’t Deadline Day fun?

Atletico de Madrid v Villarreal CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Arsenal have shifted their transfer attention back to Thomas Partey and have “made a move,” according to several U.K.-based Arsenal journalists and first reported by Charles Watts. The Gunners have made no secret of their admiration for the Atletico Madrid midfielder this transfer window and have redoubled their efforts on Deadline Day with a move for Houssem Aouar apparently off the table. Atleti have been resolute in their demands that Arsenal activate Partey’s £45M buyout clause upfront and haven’t (yet) backed off that position.

There are now reports that Arsenal have informed La Liga that they will, in fact, trigger the release clause.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reports that Atleti have not received a new bid from the Gunners for Partey and are “convinced” he is going to stay. Partey’s representatives were in London last month, so presumably there is a personal agreement ready to go should Arsenal trigger the clause.

Arsenal could do with some midfield reinforcement. As Aidan pointed out on Saturday, it’s simple math. With Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira heading out on loan, the Gunners don’t have enough Premier League ready players in the center of the park.

Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, and Mohamed Elneny won’t make it through an entire season just the three of them. Yes, Joe Willock can fill in, and if Emile Smith Rowe is ever healthy he might get some minutes, but neither are top-flight proven. And it’s an open question whether Elneny is at a sufficient level for a team with Arsenal’s ambitions.

So Arsenal either are or are not making a late move for Thomas Parety. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. We’re less than 9 hours away from the official close of the international transfer window [edit: math is hard].