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Aouar and Partey are Arsenal’s top targets in central midfield

Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey are Arsenal’s top targets in central midfield, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic

The Gunners are keen on rebuilding their midfield this summer and are looking to move on a number of their existing options in that department. Lucas Torreira has been heavily linked with a move to Atletico Madrid on loan.

Torino were said to be very keen on signing the 24 year old but their interest seems to have faded. The North London side would prefer to sell the player on a permanent basis but will look to find a solution to secure his exit from the club in the last two weeks of the transfer window. 

Mohamed Elneny, Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil are the other midfielders the club are looking to sell. The German playmaker seems set to see out the final year of his contract at North London and there has been a lack of interest in Guendouzi.

Elneny has not made a decision on his Arsenal future but his agent is currently in Turkey and has received offers for him from Galatasaray and Trabzonspor, according to Ahmed Atta of ExtraSport via Chris Wheatley. 

Arsenal’s ability to sign one or both of Aouar and Partey could depend on the number of players they are able to move on to create space in their squad as well as the financial backing they receive from their owners. Based on events at the club in the last 12 months, Stan and Josh Kroenke are likely to support Edu Gaspar and Mikel Arteta’s plans but the money involved to secure both midfield targets is significant. The club have backup options in the event that they don’t land either of these two players.

Some people Ornstein has spoken to feel that the North London side are more likely to sign one of the two midfielders. If that were to be the case, Thomas Partey is more likely to sign for Arsenal as he has a £45 million release clause and so there is no ambiguity about his price. The Gunners could attempt to sign him for a lower fee but it is impossible for the cost of this transfer to exceed his buyout clause. 

Lyon, and in particular, their president Jean-Michel Aulas, are tough negotiators and the signing of Aouar could prove to be challenging. His transfer fee could be higher than Partey’s release clause. It must be noted, however, that Edu Gaspar enjoys a good relationship with his counterpart at Lyon, Juninho. In addition to this, Aouar and Mikel Arteta are represented by the same agency. 

Reiss Nelson will be allowed to leave the club on loan this summer. Talks are at an early stage but the player is likely to have a number of suitors. The hope is that he will have a good season and come back to Arsenal prepared to fight for a spot in the first team next season. 

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