Arsenal could now face a fight to keep Thomas Partey in the January transfer window as Juventus are already considering the midfielder to, potentially, replace Paul Pogba.
That is according to La Repubblica, which reports that Juventus have placed Partey on their shortlist of possible mid-season targets. The Serie A side are keen to have a plan in place as Pogba faces an uncertain future and may see his €10m-a-year (£165k-a/w) contract voided.
Juventus are prepared to cancel Pogba’s terms and feel Partey can strengthen Massimiliano Allegri’s team in the Frenchman’s absence. Allianz Stadium chiefs have also studied the free agent market for a possible replacement. But the Bianconeri did not find an enticing option.
Juventus could revive their interest in Partey’s transfer to replace Pogba
Joseph Boende could also earn a first-team role in Turin, should Juventus terminate Pogba’s contract. Juventus appreciate the 18-year-old for his performances in their Next Gen side so far this season. But the ex-RSC Anderlecht prospect has not yet featured in any senior team.
Allegri, in particular, is paying close attention to Boende’s performances. But Juventus view a move to sign Partey from Arsenal in the January transfer window in a positive light as Allegri can reinvest the wages saved through Pogba’s exit. They also targeted Partey in the summer.
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However, Arsenal priced Juventus out of Partey’s transfer after asking for €40-45m (£34.5-39m), per Fabrizio Romano. Prior reports by Sky Italia noted that the Turin outfit only hoped to spend €18-20m (£15.5-17m). The Bianconeri would not bridge the vast gaps in valuations.
Sky Italia also noted in June that Partey had given Juventus the ok to a transfer from Arsenal. He appreciated the Serie A giant’s offer of a three-year contract and was ready to sign it had Juve agreed on a fee with the Gunners. But the differences in valuations prevented the deal.
Arteta may be loath to sell a player Rice thinks is ‘incredible’
It has not diminished Juventus’ interest, though, and Arsenal could now face a fight to retain Partey when the transfer market re-opens. Mikel Arteta may be loath to sell his £45m arrival from Atletico Madrid in October 2020. He was counting on the 30-year-old before his injury.
Partey, who Declan Rice thinks is ‘incredible’, has spent much of the season so far playing as a right-back. Yet Arteta’s decision to field the midfielder at full-back has drawn criticism. For example, Arsenal legend David Seaman believes Partey playing as a right-back is ‘awkward’.
Ben White resumed their right-back position against Manchester United with Partey absent for Arsenal due to his injury. He had started there against Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and Fulham. But the Ghanaian has a blend of a thigh and groin issue and will miss six weeks.