Arsenal given hope in Thomas Partey transfer as Atletico Madrid target Marc Roja as replacement

Thomas Partey is one of Arsenal's top transfer targets
Thomas Partey is one of Arsenal’s top transfer targets (Getty Images)

Arsenal have been given hope in their pursuit of Thomas Partey as Atletico Madrid are lining up Espanyol’s Marc Roca as the midfielder’s replacement, according to reports in Spain.

Mikel Arteta is keen to reinforce his midfield options by adding Partey to his squad this summer.

But Atletico have stood firm over the 27-year-old’s availability and will only sell him if his €50m (£43m) release clause is activated.

According to Marca, Atletico are in the market for a new midfielder and did consider Ivan Rakitic before he re-joined Sevilla from Barcelona last week.

The report now claims that Atletico are targeting Roca but the move is dependant on whether Partey is sold this summer.

Atletico have already rejected Arsenal’s offer of Matteo Guendouzi plus £22.7m in exchange for Partey earlier this summer.

Atletico Madrid want Marc Roca if Thomas Partey leaves the club
Atletico Madrid want Espanyol’s Marc Roca if Thomas Partey leaves the club (Getty Images)

It’s also understood that Partey is keen on joining Arsenal before the end of the transfer window but he will not force a move away from Atletico.

Atletico, however, have failed to reach an agreement with Partey over a new contract as the Spanish club are keen to increase the midfielder’s release clause.

Meanwhile, Partey was advised by Ghana coach CK Akonnor to turn down a move to Arsenal last month

‘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,’ Akonnor told Starr FM.

‘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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