Arsenal and Thomas Partey are keen on a transfer from Atletico Madrid this summer, but it’s far from a straightforward deal.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey (L) celebrates on February 14, 2020. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking in a YouTube Q&A this week, Goal journalist Charles Watts reported that Arsenal do hold an interest in Thomas Partey, and the player seems keen on a move himself.

Whilst it’s very possible to imagine the deal taking place under normal circumstances, we aren’t in normal circumstances. So it’s still going to be an uphill battle, based on Watts’ comments.

“Thomas Partey, for example, a player Arsenal absolutely want to sign,” Watts said. “From the word we’re getting is quite interested in a move to Arsenal as well. Obviously, has a release clause of €50m.

“In years gone by, that wouldn’t have been out of the realms of possibility for Arsenal. But right now, it’s very, very difficult for them to do anything like that because of the situation that the club finds itself in.”

Arsenal are currently in the process of refunding season-ticket holders. They’re facing the prospect of a year without matchday income. We don’t even have any guarantees the current season will end and ensure normal broadcasting revenue and prize money.

Clearly, paying the €50m release clause isn’t an option right now. In the best-case scenario, where Premier League football returns, Arsenal qualify for the Champions League (which isn’t cancelled), the new season starts on time and a vaccine allows fans to return to their stadiums, it’s possible. But we’re a long way from that.

What about a swap deal?

Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on March 07, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal celebrates after scoring on March 07, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The journalist did go on to suggest one way we could see an Arsenal deal for Partey. Despite the limited cash resources at the club right now, they can always offer a player in return.

“But then there’s the Alexandre Lacazette situation,” Charles continued. “A player that Atletico Madrid like and have always liked. A player Arsenal may well be willing to let go if they can get something done. Especially if Aubameyang signs his new contract.

“So there is a possible way there of exploring some sort of deal with Atletico. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but that’s the sort of thing you’re going to see more and more of in this transfer market.”

Again, there’s no ruling out the possibility of this kind of move. There are just a lot of conditions to meet first, so don’t expect any progress just yet.

You can watch the full Q&A with Charles Watts here: