Atletico Madrid have rejected a bid from Arsenal that would’ve seen them sell Thomas Partey for Matteo Guendouzi plus a cash sum.
The Ghanian is one of the Gunners’ top transfer targets in the coming months after they expressed their interest earlier this year.
Partey is yet to sign a new deal at the Wanda Metropolitano but Ateltico are not prepared to sell him on the cheap with the 27-year-old having a €50m (£45.5m) release clause.
Arsenal’s initial offer of £25m was rejected before they returned with another bid that included Guendouzi.
The Spanish club rejected that on Monday leaving the two clubs in a stand off with the Gunners admitting they will not match his release clause, reports the Guardian.
Mikel Arteta has called on the club to back him in the summer as they aim to close the gap on the club’s elite following their midtable finish.
But it remains unclear whether the Emirates hierarchy will give him the funds he needs to overhaul his Arsenal side.
Partey would be a welcome addition following his success in the Spanish capital.
The combative midfielder has made over 180 appearances for Atletico and started in the 2016 Champions League Final.
He could potentially be a replacement for Guendouzi who looks to have lost the trust of his manager.
The young Frenchman made the headlines for his antics in Arsenal’s loss at Brighton when the season restarted and he has not played since.
Arteta refused to confirm whether the 21-year-old would be at the north London outfit next term.
The former Manchester City No 2 is thought to have run out of patience with Guendouzi following several misdemeanours sine he arrived at the club in December.