Mikel Arteta and Arsenal have reportedly turned their attention to Roma’s Amadou Diawara as they struggle to get Atletico Madrid to reduce Thomas Partey’s €50m price tag.

GETAFE, SPAIN - JULY 16: Thomas Teye Partey (R) of Atletico de Madrid celebrates scoring their second goal with teammate Diego Costa (2ndL) and Victor Machin alias Vitolo (L) during the Liga match between Getafe CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Coliseum Alfonso Perez on July 16, 2020 in Getafe, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta Partey may not get started (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Arsenal have been linked with Thomas Partey every summer since before Arsene Wenger left and it seems Mikel Arteta is also an admirer of the midfielder. It’s a rumour even David Ornstein has given updates on once or twice, so we know there’s substance to it.

Not at the price Atletico Madrid are still asking, though – the full €50m as set out in the release clause of Partey’s contract. That contract also has another three years to run.

Arteta and his gang have been trying to get creative with their offers for Partey as a way of saving cash, but the La Liga side reportedly rejected any idea of a swap deal involving Matteo Guendouzi, who is still very much on the naughty step at Arsenal.

As a result, according to ASRomaLive.it, Diawara has become an ‘alternative’ target. And a much cheaper one at around €30m.

He’s also much younger at 23 compared to Partey’s 27. His contract, however, has four years remaining.

Arsenal allegedly want to pay €25m for him.

If you want to know how well he’d fit in at Arsenal, ASRomaLive helpfully inform us that, “His season’s performance has been quite positive, although injuries have affected him and Roma has not been able to count on his contribution in the important periods of the championship.”

Perfect, huh?

PERUGIA, ITALY - JULY 31: Amadou Diawara of AS Roma in action during the pre-season friendly match between AC Perugia and AS Roma at Stadio Renato Curi on July 31, 2019 in Perugia, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
PERUGIA, ITALY – JULY 31: Amadou Diawara of AS Roma in action during the pre-season friendly match between AC Perugia and AS Roma at Stadio Renato Curi on July 31, 2019 in Perugia, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

With the amount of rumours circling you have to imagine this is indeed a position Arsenal are looking to strengthen. It also gives us a general idea of the budget they have available for that position.

The same person who was detailing the swap offer is now saying that the Gunners are trying to come up with a deal that involves just cash.

TheAFCBell tweeted, “Information: The channels of #جرس_أرسنال communication between Arsenal and Atlético Madrid have not been closed, and talks are continuing between the two clubs. The club is preparing a new offer that does not include any player, but only money. A few days away from August, the month of deduction.”

Take from that what you will.

There is no way they are going to get Atletico to drop Partey’s price to €25m, and, anyway, why should Atletico do us any favours?

That doesn’t mean Arsenal wouldn’t pay more for Partey, but does that impact how much we have to spend on other positions if we do? What sort of margins are we playing with here?

Nobody knows

We have no clue how much money Arsenal will have this summer because there are still so many unknowns remaining.

Will Arsenal win the FA Cup final and qualify for Europe?

Will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stay or go?

Can Arsenal get Mesut Ozil’s wages of the books or his head back in the game?

How much has the empty stadiums impacted what’s available to spend?

We just don’t know.

Going to be interesting finding out. I hope.