According to reports, Thomas Partey, an Arsenal midfielder, has reached a personal agreement before transferring to the Saudi Pro League. The Gunners are anticipated to become more interested in Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia if the Ghanaian says goodbye to the Emirates Stadium.
Mikel Arteta has already lost one key midfielder this summer, with Granit Xhaka joining Bayer Leverkusen in a £21.5million deal. And he looks set to lose another, with Partey threatening to become the latest big-name player to plump for a healthy pay day in the Middle East.
According to reports from Saudi Arabia, the 30-year-old has ‘finally agreed’ on terms with an unnamed club. Partey has two years left to run on his Arsenal contract, although it remains to be seen what kind of fee can be recouped for the former Atletico Madrid man.
The Gunners shelled out the entirety of Partey’s £45m release clause upon signing him from the Rojiblancos in 2020. The midfield general has gone to rack up 99 first-team appearances, although his stint looks set to end without any silverware.
If Partey moves onto pastures new, CBS Sports claim that Arsenal will formally ‘enter the race’ for Lavia, who is valued by Southampton at £50m.
Liverpool and Chelsea have also shown a strong interest in the 19-year-old midfielder. Lavia made his senior breakthrough at Manchester City before signing for the Saints last summer in a £14m deal.
Access to more frequent Premier League game time allowed the youngster to shine last campaign, despite Southampton’s relegation. Reports indicate that Lavia’s suitors, including Arsenal, are keen to negotiate a far lower fee than the current asking price.
Arteta and sporting director Edu have already taken swift action in the summer transfer window with the arrivals of Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber taking Arsenal’s spending north of £200m.
Rice, who became the most expensive English player of all time when his £105m switch from West Ham was confirmed on Saturday, will be a high-value addition to Arteta’s midfield, while Havertz can also feature in the middle of the park.
Shifting Partey and luring in Lavia would give the Gunners’ midfield an even fresher look going into next campaign, when they will hope to achieve what they couldn’t in 2022/23 by winning the Premier League title.