Matteo Guendouzi leaves Arsenal for season-long loan at Hertha Berlin
Monday 5 October 2020 23:18, UK
Arsenal have met Atletico Madrid's £45m release clause for Thomas Partey as they look to secure a Deadline Day deal for the midfielder.
Partey has been linked with Arsenal throughout the window and although his £45m release clause has been an issue.
The Gunners have been attempting to free up wages and space in the squad before the window shuts at 11pm - with Matteo Guendouzi first out the door on Deadline Day, joining Hertha Berlin on loan.
Lucas Torreira is set to sign for Atletico Madrid on loan, Bayer Leverkusen's move for Sead Kolasinac fell through at the 11th hour and the Gunners are listening to offers for Sokratis Papastathopoulos. They have not received any bids for Mesut Ozil, despite Mikel Arteta casting doubts over his future.
Arteta said at the weekend Arsenal were doing what they can to finalise transfers ahead of the deadline - and was confident deals can be done - while Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth has confirmed that a Deadline Day move is on the cards.
"Look, throughout this whole transfer window we know that Arsenal have been after a midfielder," he said on Monday. "The one that never went away was Thomas Partey.
"We know that Arsenal have been interested in him for the whole window, the issue was the release clause as Atletico will not negotiate with any club on the release clause, so if someone wants to sign him they must pay £45m.
"Now, it is our understanding that Arsenal are pushing once again for Thomas Partey. There is an expectation - not 100 per cent - but there is an expectation that they will meet that £45m release clause.
"All of the talk during the window was how they generate that money. Well today, they are looking to offload players to fund that move for Partey.
"Torriera [to Atletico] is only a loan. They would get some sort of loan fee for that, but more importantly they get his wages off the bill. Guendouzi is the same.
"The other one is Kolasinac. Leverkusen want to buy him and Arsenal want to sell him. We think it's around £10m. Leverkusen can't afford that fee with the wages, so they are looking into a loan with an obligation-to-buy option.
"All of that put together - plus with the sale of Emiliano Martinez - it looks like Arsenal are getting those funds together, and we expect them to meet Partey's £45m release clause.
"Time is running out, 11pm is the deadline, they are looking to get it sorted so Partey can become an Arsenal player."
The Gunners were previously interested in Chelsea midfielder Jorginho. A deal for the Italy international is thought to be unlikely, but not impossible.
Houssem Aouar, meanwhile, is no longer thought to be a target after he declared his desire to stay with Lyon. "I want to continue the adventure with the club who raised me," Aouar told Telefoot over the weekend.
Analysis from Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson...
"I think Thomas Partey is a top draw player," Merson said. "I nearly fell off my chair with £45m, I don't think that's a lot of money at all for the quality of player.
"One thing he brings as well is discipline. Atletico Madrid are probably one of the most disciplined teams in Europe and he will do that. He's not a midfielder that goes running all over the place, he's very disciplined and plays in a disciplined team and I think he will be a great signing.
"I think what Mikel Arteta is doing, he's trying to get rid of the players who aren't involved, he doesn't want them hanging around and he wants them out. Fair play, I like what Arsenal are doing.
"The likes of Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Sead Kolasinac aren't playing at the moment and he doesn't want them around the club. I like that kind of business. You look at Manchester United and the likes of Phil Jones are still there, but they're not going to play so what're they doing there still? Do they want to play football?
"Fair play to the lads at Arsenal, they want to play football so they want to go, they're not digging their heels in. It's a short career, play football."
Guendouzi, 21, has not played a single minute for Arsenal yet this season and has now joined Hertha, who finished 10th in the Bundesliga last season.
The France U21 international last featured for Arteta's side in the Premier League in June, during the 2-1 defeat away to Brighton on June 20.
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He was involved in a fracas with forward Neal Maupay, appearing to grab his opponent's throat after the final whistle at the Amex Stadium.
Reports in France earlier this summer claimed Guendouzi said he would be open to leaving Arsenal during a disciplinary meeting at the club, following the incident at Brighton, but Arteta later dismissed the speculation.
Guendouzi, who joined the Gunners from Lorient in 2018, is under contract at the Emirates Stadium until 2022.
The midfielder has played 82 times for the club in all competitions, scoring once and making five assists since his debut in August 2018.
The summer transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday October 5 with a feast of activity throughout the day involving the biggest names in football.
Some of the highlights to enjoy on Sky Sports News and across our Sky Sports platforms:
You can also follow the stories on Sky Sports' digital platforms, with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.
Here's all you need to know about Deadline Day and how to keep across all the deals and drama with Sky Sports.