Journalist Ben Jacobs has now shared an update on the futures of Thomas Partey and Folarin Balogun at Arsenal with both players subjects of transfer interest this summer.
Manager Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu have been hard at work securing some early deals in the off-season. Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice have already headed for Emirates Stadium to strengthen the Spaniard’s team. But the market is far from finished yet.
Jacobs has noted in his Caught Offside column that Arsenal may target yet further transfers this summer. While there is ‘still a chance’ that Edu agrees on terms to sell Partey and ‘a sale is possible’ when it comes to Balogun, as well. Even if Arsenal ‘would love to’ keep the latter.
Thomas Partey transfer latest as Saudi clubs target Arsenal raid
Partey is the subject of interest from clubs in Saudi Arabia for a potential transfer away from Arsenal this summer. The 30-year-old has already informed one of his suitors, Al-Ahli, that he is not interested in the move. But the likely route away from north London remains open.
Jacobs claims there is a chance that Partey could still leave Arsenal as those who rejected a transfer to Saudi Arabia at first may have a change of heart as they see other top players join its Pro League. Al-Ahli have already signed Edouard Mendy and Roberto Firmino in the sales.
MORE ARSENAL STORIES
Although, while Jacobs reports that Partey is still a target for clubs in Saudi Arabia, Ghanaian journalist Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo notes that Arsenal are no longer keen to offload their 45-cap anchor. So, should the midfielder change his mind, it may take a substantial bid for any deal.
Thomas Partey is open to a move to Juventus this summer
Further interest from Juventus should help Edu demand a high sum for the Odumase Krobo native, too. Sky Italia cites the Bianconeri’s interest, whilst adding that Partey is open to the move. But the Serie A side were only looking at offering €18-20m (£15.5-17m) back in June.
Arsenal should be able to demand much more than that to permit Partey’s transfer. He cost the Gunners £45m to sign from Atletico Madrid in October 2020 and also still has two years remaining on his contract. Partey produced his best season in north London last term, too.
Partey was instrumental behind much of Arsenal’s run to second place in the Premier League table. His screening of the defence made Arteta’s side a tough club to crack for many teams. But his form did decline toward the end of the term, so a move may be on for the right price.
Folarin Balogun transfer latest as Inter Milan target the Arsenal striker
As for Balogun, Jacobs notes that the Arsenal striker is one to ‘keep an eye on’ as Inter Milan are now weighing up an offer for his transfer. The Serie A side are considering submitting an offer worth up to €40m (£35m) for the 22-year-old. He is their alternative to Romelu Lukaku.
Arsenal would have taken the £35m bid in January but now value the forward at no less than £45m. The Gunners have upped their asking price after Balogun finished the 2022/23 term with 21 goals from 37 Ligue 1 games after a superbly strong loan spell with Stade de Reims.
Balogun has now made it clear to Arsenal that he will not take another loan move. Arteta and Edu would also love to keep him at the Emirates. But Jacobs adds that ‘a sale is possible’ given the unlikelihood that Arteta can award Balogun enough minutes to satisfy the striker.
So, if Inter Milan are to present a £35m opening offer, Balogun could call San Siro his home next season. The £10m discrepancy between the Nerazzurri’s valuation and Arsenal’s could leave a small enough difference for the two teams to negotiate an appropriate final amount