Arsenal star Thomas Partey set for shock exit, with European rivals circling: report
Arsenal star Thomas Partey could be set for a surprise departure from the Emirates Stadium this summer.
The Ghanaian has been an integral player for Mikel Arteta since joining in 2020 for a fee in the region of £45 million. Partey has ascended to become of the best defensive midfielders in Europe on his day, too, as Arsenal have returned to the Champions League and challenged for the Premier League title this season.
But in recent weeks, Partey's form has wavered. The No.5 was at fault for a goal against West Ham United and particularly careless in possession in the crunch clash against Manchester City, finding himself dropped by manager Mikel Arteta for games against Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion in the run-in.
Now, the Mirror says that Partey is wanted by two unnamed Italian clubs – and that Arsenal may look to cash in on the midfielder, who is approaching 30.
The Gunners are already set to lose Granit Xhaka from their midfield this summer, with the Swiss national captain on the verge of a transfer to Bayer Leverkusen, meaning that two of Arsenal's first-choice midfield three might leave this summer. Only captain Martin Odegaard would remain.
Arsenal are said to be interested in Declan Rice and are in 'pole position' for Moises Caicedo, meaning that they could field a new-look midfield next season. Jorginho's contract runs until next summer, meaning that there could be big changes in the next few years in the centre of the park at the Emirates Stadium.
Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Vieira may well feature more, too. Smith Rowe hasn't had a single start all season, while Vieira has only performed in glimpses as a deputy behind Xhaka and Odegaard.
Partey was one of Arteta's first signings after director Raul Sanlehhi left in 2020. The midfield warrior was purchased on the deadline day of that year's summer window and has played just 80 times across three seasons, with injuries hampering his momentum at key points of the campaign.
The 29-year-old is valued at €38m by Transfermarkt.
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Arsenal are ready for a huge summer, with their wage structure set to loosen in the advent of reaching the Champions League once more. Declan Rice remains the priority target.
Five first-teamers are expected, with RB Leipzig defender Mohamed Simakin, Real Madrid star Ferland Mendy, former academy graduate Yunus Musah and two more Manchester City stars all rumoured. Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace, Aurelien Tchouameni of Real Madrid and N'Golo Kante of Chelsea have all been linked.