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Partey Pooper: Arsenal’s second bid for midfielder rejected by Atletico Madrid

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The Gunners continue to exhibit that they are just as inept off the field as they are on it.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

With the 19/20 Premier League season wrapped up and only the FA Cup Final left for Arsenal, the looming transfer window is about to become the center of the Gunners’ attention. Mikel Arteta has become increasingly vocal about the club’s need to sign talented players, and recent performances have supported that, as Arsenal once more faltered in crucial matches down the stretch and missed out on Champions League play next season.

Despite Arteta’s public pleas for the club to back him financially, it’s been practically all quiet on the transfer front. So far, the main concrete piece of transfer news has been Arsenal’s public interest in Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey. Atletico are no dummies - they know that Arsenal are in desperate need of a rebuild and have insisted since the rumors began that they will not part with Partey for anything less than his €50M release clause. This was made very clear to the Gunners when Atletico laughed off Arsenal’s first offer of £25M.

As with all transfers, there is always going to be a little song and dance between clubs and agents before things are finalized; almost a formality. An initial offer is rejected, counter offers are made, and more often than not, the clubs find a way to appease all parties. Arsenal, on the other hand, love to make things as difficult for themselves as possible in the process, as evidenced by today, when, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal made a second failed bid for Partey by refusing to want to pay the entire release clause.

Sigh...

Just when things seem to be taking a turn for the better, the club finds a way to throw a wrench in the gears of progress. While it makes sense that Arsenal are trying to use Matteo Guendouzi as a makeweight as the club is claiming poor once again, it’s quite frustrating and rather embarrassing that they would take such an approach for this transfer. Atletico are not a minnow that rely on selling players to bigger clubs, and they certainly aren’t hurting for money after selling Antoine Griezmann for over £100M to Barcelona last summer. Partey is neither out of contract at the club nor out of favor with manager Diego Simeone, which leaves the La Liga side with all of the negotiating power.

There is still plenty of time left for Arsenal to salvage this transfer, but with six weeks before the beginning of next season, the Gunners have a short window to do so. If they are serious about getting Partey and other players of need into the club, they will have to do better than whatever it is they are attempting with Atletico right now.

It really is difficult being a fan of this club sometimes.