Atletico Madrid fear Arsenal will sign Thomas Partey – and hatch plan to prevent transfer – Express

Atletico Madrid are worried about the prospect of Arsenal signing Thomas Partey and have hatched a plan to keep the midfielder at the club, reports say.

The Ghana international has been in sensational form for Diego Simeone’s side this season, helping them to third in the La Liga table.

Arsenal have been linked with Partey in the past, particularly during the most recent transfer window, but have never been able to bring the midfielder to north London.

Yet Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo say fears exist at Atletico that Arsenal may be able to snare him.

However, Atletico Madrid are now planning to offer the 26-year-old a new contract in order to prevent him from departing.

They supposedly want to install a £44million buyout clause in the midfielder’s new deal too.

Partey is currently contracted to Atletico Madrid until 2023.

Yet Atletico want to also double his wages to ensure he stays at the Wanda Metropolitano.

They are hoping to get a new contract for their midfield lynchpin sorted by the end of the year.

And that would make it difficult for Arsenal to sign him, particularly given the strict financial restrictions they operate under.

Meanwhile, speaking earlier this year, Partey was asked about his future.

As well as Arsenal, Manchester United were also linked with a move for the Atletico star amid their issues in the middle of the park.

Yet Partey insisted he was happy at Atletico and had no plans to jump ship anytime soon.

“I’ve grown up in Atleti and I am sure I will stay here,” he told Cadena COPE.

“I don’t know of another place that will understand how I play like they do here.”

Arsenal may have to move for a midfielder next summer.

The Gunners landed Dani Ceballos on loan and have seen the Spain international flourish at the Emirates.

However, the Arsenal star recently admitted that he still dreams of playing for parent club Real Madrid.

Speaking to Radio Marca, he said: “When I don’t play, I don’t enjoy myself.

“These two years [at Real Madrid] I’ve learned a lot from the club, but now I’m enjoying it [football].

“I knew it was an important year, the coach has doubts and he who doesn’t play doesn’t go [to Euro 2020], so it was a good time to go on loan.

“I never thought about going permanently. My goal is to succeed at Real Madrid. I will fight to fulfil my dream.”

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