Arsenal have decided to end their interest in Atlético Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.
They have long been admirers of the Ghanaian international and made a bid for him which was turned down.
The sticking point is the price. Atlético are only prepared to sell him if Partey’s official release clause of €50 million is paid in full. They have resisted attempts by the Gunners to drive the price down, and have also made it clear that they are only interested in a cash deal, and have rebuffed suggestions that players like Matteo Guendouzi could be offered in part exchange.
Given Arsenal’s own financial constraints this summer, they have decided now that Partey is out of their price range, and are now prepared to start looking elsewhere.
One name that has been suggested is Barcelona outcast Rafinha, who spent last season on loan with Celta Vigo, but is now back the Nou Camp. He is available for a much more reasonable €16 million (£14 million).
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.