Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey is seeking an annual salary of £10.4million-per-year in order to sign for Arsenal this summer window.
The Ghanian star is interested in a move to the Emirates but Arsenal are unwilling to activate a £45m release clause in his current contract which they need to pay in full to sign him.
Instead, Arsenal have offered players like Alexandre Lacazette and Matteo Guendouzi in part-exchange for Partey but Atletico have turned down the offers and insist they will keep the player unless his release clause is met.
The gunners will have to decide if they can fund the £45m fee to sign Partey but another big issue is the Ghanaian’s wage demands. According to the Athletic’s David Ornstein, Thomas Partey wants a weekly salary of £200,000 which would make him one of the highest earners at the club.
Mesut Ozil is the club’s current highest earner and earns around £350,000-a-week but they are desperate to get him off their wage bill as he’s seen as being surplus to requirements by Mikel Arteta.
The 27-year-old is top target for Arteta in midfield as the Arsenal manager looks to sign a commanding figure to control the middle of the park.
The clun announced 55 redundancies last week and posted an operating loss in February before the coronavirus crisis happened to force football into suspension.
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Arteta is under pressure to balance the books and the gunners have put a couple of players up for sale this summer window in order to make up for a fourth campaign outside the Champions League.
“First up Thomas Partey, we know he’s been Arsenal’s main target for the central midfield role this summer,” Ornstein said on the Tifo Podcast’s Ask Ornstein show.
“He’s been on their radar for a number of years and I don’t think it would be a case of whether he wants to come.
“It’s whether Arsenal can strike the deal. It’s very simple from Atletico Madrid’s perspective, he’s got a €50m release clause, if Arsenal or anybody else pays it, then it’s up to him what he wants to do.
“I don’t think they’ll accept anything less than the release clause. “I think Arsenal and people on their behalf have suggested swaps with the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, Alexandre Lacazette, but Atletico have been very clear that they want the release clause paid.
“It’s not as straightforward as some may think because Arsenal will have to pay the release clause in one go, as is the case in Spain, and that will also have tax on top of it which will add a few more million euros.
“And Thomas Partey will command a very high salary, I’m told in excess of £200,000 a week, so they’ll hope to get that deal done but it’s not easy at all.