Atletico Madrid rejected a swap deal offer from Arsenal between Thomas Partey and Matteo Guendouzi plus minimal cash, but negotiations are ongoing.

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

The AFC Bell claim Arsenal made a verbal offer to Atletico Madrid for Thomas Partey, putting forward Matteo Guendouzi and a small amount of money. However, Atletico rejected the initial approach.

Atletico reportedly value Guendouzi at around €25-30m. Given Partey has a release clause of €50m, that presumably means they’d want the player and €20-25m on top. But Arsenal’s valuation for Guendouzi is much higher.

Partey’s camp remain optimistic that they’re heading for an agreement, despite the initial rejection. Talks will continue over the coming days and weeks, up until Atletico start playing in the Champions League next month.

By that point, Arsenal want the outline of an agreement with Atletico in place. Then they’ll close negotiations as soon as the Spanish side exit the CL.

If Arsenal can convince Atletico to settle for a swap and a fairly low additional fee, it’d probably suit everyone pretty well. Partey is clearly one of the club’s key summer targets. Guendouzi is very much out of favour under Mikel Arteta.

On the other hand, if Atletico hold out for as much as €25m on top, it stops being such a good deal. You could get a pretty good midfielder for that kind of money alone, let alone cash plus Guendouzi as well.

It’s only the first round of deal negotiations, though. I’m sure both parties will find a way to meet in the middle if they really want to.