ARSENAL are ready to treble the wages of Athletic Madrid’s £45million midfielder Thomas Partey to make him Mikel Arteta’s first summer signing.
The Gunners are favourites to sign the 27-year-old Ghanaian, who has a £45m release clause in his contract, according to sources in Spain.
Italian Serie A side Napoli are also chasing the African and could offer Poland international Arkadiusz Milik in a player-plus-cash swap.
Spanish outlet Diario AS claim the Gunners will make him one of their highest earners as they target a new-look midfield.
Gunners boss Arteta is keen on bringing in reinforcements as he looks to move on bad-boy Matteo Guendouzi.
Partey’s Madrid deal does not end until 2023, but if he agrees an extension it would double his salary and also increase his release clause to just above £90m (€100m).
£1 FREE BET Try your luck this weekend with a free bet on Ladbrokes
But talks over that new contract have stalled and the money being talked about by Arsenal could see a move being completed in August.
Party has made over 180 appearances for Diego Simeone’s side, scoring 15 goals.
The Gunners are moving quickly to get their business done before the Premier League season ends – and could offer Madrid striker Alexandre Lacazette in a swap.
Arteta has already tied up long-term deals for youngsters Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka.
The Spaniard will now turn his attention to either getting striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign a long-term deal to finish his career at the Emirates – or be sold.
Most read in Premier League
Fernandes & Pogba BOTH injured in training collision and are doubts for Cherries
KICKED INTO TOUCH
Redknapp and Evra ditch BLM badges after movement's extreme statements
GUNFIRE TO GLORY
Roberto Firmino had to run home from training to dodge gunfire as a kid
Everton to rival Arsenal for John Stones after Man City defender is snubbed by Pep
WEIGH TO GO
Tyson shows off body on beach as boxing legend lifts weights for photo shoot
Tottenham boss Jose not ‘Special One’ anymore with slump a nightmare for Levy
But alongside that will be bringing in Partey.
Transfer chiefs are believed to have identified Partey as the man to reinforce the Gunners’ flaky central midfield.
That could mean that, not only Guendouzi, but also Swiss international Granit Xhaka could move on.