Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey has been warned against a move to Arsenal by his national team boss.
Partey has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates as Mikel Arteta tries to strengthen his midfield.
Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are both on the verge of leaving Arsenal, so Arteta will see the Ghanaian international as a perfect replacement.
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The player has been an important part of Diego Simeone’s success with Atletico. The signing would be a great signal of intent from Arsenal and Arteta.
However, Partey’s national team boss, Ghana manager Charles Akonnor, has told Mirror that the player should stick with Atletico.
He said: “Honestly, I wouldn’t want him to move to Arsenal because with Atletico, he will always play Champions League football. 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 I hope that whatever he asks for, Atletico will be able to pay.”
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Partey is one of Akonnor’s star players, alongside the Ayew brothers and Inter Milan left-back Kwadwo Asamoah.
It seems Akonnor wants Partey to being playing regular Champions League football, rather than risking dropping out of Europe’s elite competition by signing for the Gunners.
Arsenal will undeterred by the manager’s comments and are still set to bid for the player in the coming weeks.
His contract includes a release clause of £45 million which the London club will be unable to meet unless they offload some players.
Guendouzi is close to a potential swap deal for Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, while defender Sokratis has been linked with a move back to Germany.
Arsenal have already completed the signing of Willian from Chelsea after the player’s time at Stamford Bridge came to an end.
You can see all of this summer’s confirmed transfers on our dedicated page.