Arsenal make final transfer decision on Partey after Atletico Madrid stance

Arsenal are set to walk away from a deal to sign Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid this summer.

Mikel Arteta is desperate to sign a defensive midfielder in the summer after identifying it as a problematic position.

The Gunners have been devoid of a strong' defensive midfielder for some time now.

They have not had a specialist in the position since Gilberto Silva, while current options Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka are not those kind of players.

Partey had been shortlisted as the main man for the position but a summer-long pursuit has turned out to be fruitless.

Atletico have stuck to their guns over the asking price.

The Ghana international's release clause stands at £45m and Diego Simeone has told Arsenal that this is his price.

That has proved too difficult for the Gunners and Catalan newspaper Sport, via the Express, report that they are turning their attention elsewhere.

It will come as a huge blow to Arteta, who was impressed by the 27-year-old last season.

Partey had possibly his best season as a professional, becoming a force in Simeone's midfield and making 35 appearances as Atletico finished third in La Liga.

He also played a key role in their Champions League push, which saw them conquer previous champions Liverpool but succumb to RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals.

It is good news for Partey's national boss CK Akonnor, who recently called on the midfielder to stay with Atletico.

Arsenal will not be playing in the Champions League next season, unlike the Spanish outfit, and Akonnor believes he would develop better in the competition.

"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," he said.

"With Arsenal, I’m not too sure. Arsenal fans will kill me [for saying he should not join them].

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“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."

As for Arsenal, other targets will now be looked at after already moving for a center-back to partner William Saliba at the back.

Gabriel Magalhaes is being signed from Lille for a fee of £27m while the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, Alexandre Lacazette and Hector Bellerin could be sold.

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