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Arsenal step up pursuit for top transfer target as he ‘agrees’ to join

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Arsenal are reportedly stepping up their pursuit of Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey – and the 27-year-old is apparently keen on moving to the Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta replaced Unai Emery as Arsenal boss midway through the 2019/20 season so this will be his first full summer transfer window to stamp his mark on the team.

Central midfielder is one of the areas of concern as Matteo Guendouzi is expected to leave after falling out with his manager.

An air of uncertainty also surrounds German playmaker Mesut Ozil, who has not featured since the Premier League resumed.

The Gunners have made Partey their top target and the Ghana international has a very reasonable £45million release clause.

Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey has a £45m release clause (Image Getty)

According to the Athletic, Arsenal are trying to negotiate a lower fee and are ready to push forward with those plans.

The report adds that Partey wants to link up with Arteta, so long as a deal is struck with Atletico.

Arsenal face the prospect of no European football next season as they struggle in 10th place in the Premier League table.

In contrast, Atletico are on course to finish behind Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Champions League spots.

Partey’s team-mate Kieran Trippier knows exactly what it takes to cut it in the Premier League.

And the former Tottenham right-back has tipped the midfielder to be a success should he move to England.

“I’d seen him play for Atletico but I didn’t realise how good he is,” Trippier told the Beautiful Game Podcast.

Kieran Trippier and Thomas Partey tackle Real Madrid star Eden Hazard (Getty images)

“He’s unbelievable, his physicality, how he breaks up play. Technically he’s got everything.

“He ranks as one of the best midfielders I’ve played with, but Mousa [Dembele] is Mousa and he’s on a different planet. Even in training he was in cruise control.

“Thomas is still a very young player and everyone loves him out here.”

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Although Partey has been linked with Arsenal, Trippier wants him to remain at Atletico.

He added: “Going to the Premier League who knows? Obviously I want him to stay here because he’s a valuable member to our team.

“He speaks perfect English, very good English. I don’t think he’d have a problem with the Premier League.”

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