Arsenal handed Thomas Partey transfer blow as new club join race for his signature

Thomas Teye Partey of Atletico de Madrid controls the ball during the Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Betis Balompie at Wanda Metropolitano on July 11, 2020 in Madrid, Spain.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey but now faces a battle as Inter Milan have entered the race for his signature. 

The Gunners are looking to strengthen in midfield as they look to close the gap on Liverpool in the Premier League.

Arsenal are believed to be the frontrunners for Partey but Inter entering the race is a complication Arteta would not have wanted.

The Gunners have already completed deals for Willian and are close to agreeing a new contract with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal are struggling to raise the funds to complete a deal for Partey though and may have to sell before they can make their move.

That could leave the door open for Inter boss Antonio Conte to swoop for the 27-year-old.

Gazzetta dello Sport claim the Italian thinks Partey could be a good replacement for Marcelo Brozovic who was inconsistent last season.

The Croatia international could leave the club with Conte targeting the Atletico star.

The La Liga side value their midfielder at £45m and are not willing to budge on that asking price.

Diego Simeone is a big fan of Partey and wants to offer him a new contract at Atletico.

The new agreement is said to have a £71m release clause inserted making it far tougher for clubs to take him away from the Wanda Metropolitano.

Meanwhile, CK Akonnor, Partey's coach at Ghana, has warned the star not to move to Arsenal.

"Honestly, I wouldn't want him to move to Arsenal because with Atletico, he will always play Champions League football," he said.

"His position is guaranteed and he will always play. With Arsenal, I'm not too sure. 
Arsenal fans will kill me [for saying he should not join them].

"I hope that, and I'm sure money issues will come in, but  hope that whatever he asks for, Atletico will be able to pay."

Arsenal striker Aubameyang expects there to be news on a new contract in the next few days.

Speaking after the Community Shield win against Liverpool he said: "Yes, I know. We will see. We will see in the next few todays. Today we take the trophy."

He also praised Arteta for the progress the Gunners are making under his management.

He added: "We are improving and yes there is still work to do but we are really happy and it's a really exciting time to be at this football club."
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