?This summer promises to be one of the busiest in recent memory for Atletico Madrid.
Defensive stalwarts Diego Godin and Juanfran are on their way out, while Lucas Hernandez has sealed an €80m move to Bayern Munich. Star man Antoine Griezmann has also announced his intention to leave, while Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly keen on midfielder Rodri.
Another player Diego Simeone could lose is Thomas Partey. The Ghanaian midfielder has had an impressive season which has attracted interest from a number of big name clubs. While Simone wants to keep him, Partey has a €50m release clause and Atletico would be powerless to prevent him leaving if it’s met.
Here we take a look at the clubs that have been linked with Partey and how likely a transfer to each side actually is.
Inter are the side that have been most strongly ?linked to Partey in recent weeks as they look to revamp the midfield.
The Nerazzurri are set to appoint ?Antonio Conte as manager and the Italian will no doubt have been given budget assurances from the club’s Chinese owners. Partey’s agent, Daniel Jimenez, has already been flirting with Inter, referring to them as a ‘top club’.
The move depends on whether Inter seal Champions League football next season. The club sits fourth going into the final Serie A matchday, but their Milan rivals are just a point behind and failure to beat Empoli could mean they miss out.
Funding a deal for Partey would prove difficult without Champions League qualification, and the midfielder will be looking to play in Europe’s premier club competition himself next season. However, if Inter finish in the top four, a move is definitely on the cards.
Likelihood rating: 7/10 (if Inter qualify for the Champions League)
The Gunners are another side that have been linked with Partey as Unai Emery looks to build on his first season at the club.
The Spaniard solved some of Arsenal’s long standing midfield issues by signing Lucas Torreira last summer. The impressive Uruguayan has added grit alongside Granit Xhaka, who has also improved. However, Xhaka remains inconsistent and is far from a fan favourite, while Aaron Ramsey’s departure to Juventus now leaves the club short in the middle.
Partey would definitely improve Emery’s midfield options, but any transfer would likely be too costly. Emery reportedly has just £40m to work with this summer, a sum that doesn’t even match Partey’s release clause.
?Arsenal will prioritise strengthening in defence and the wide areas in this window. A move for Partey looks unlikely at the moment.
Likelihood rating: 4/10
?United are set to undergo a squad overhaul following a woeful season, and the centre of midfield is one of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s priorities.
Big money summer signing Fred has disappointed, while Ander Herrera is leaving and Paul Pogba continues to be linked with a move away from Old Trafford. Nemanja Matic also endured a poor season and Solskjaer’s side are desperate for more quality in the middle.
Partey’s energy and ability to break up play would certainly be a welcome addition to a midfield which has often been accused of coasting its way through games, and United have the financial means to get the deal done.
Solskjaer’s immediate attention seems to be on Newcastle’s ?Sean Longstaff (weirdly), but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the club bring two midfielders in. A move for Partey makes sense, particularly if there are further departures from Old Trafford.
Likelihood rating: 6/10
?Juventus are another club set for a busy summer following Max Allegri’s departure and a disappointing Champions League exit in 2018/19.
The Old Lady’s midfield endured a particularly difficult season, with the likes of Miralem Pjanic and Emre Can failing to hit top form.
Aaron Ramsey’s arrival will help remedy those issues, though the club could look to bring in further reinforcements. Sami Khedira had another injury-stricken campaign and underwent knee surgery in April, leaving the team short of options.
However, Juve will prioritise adding creativity to the midfield this season, with the club reportedly looking to sign Lazio’s ?Sergei Milinkovic-Savic.
Likelihood rating: 1/10
This definitely makes sense on paper. PSG really struggled in midfield this season, with centre-back Marquinhos deployed there for much of the campaign.
Adrien Rabiot barely played due to a contract dispute and is on his way out of the club, while January signing Leandro Paredes has so far failed to make his mark on the team.
PSG look to have already secured Ander Herrera on a free transfer from United, but the French club are still looking for reinforcements in the middle.
While Partey would add the strength and running that is lacking in the PSG midfield, the club are focusing on securing the signing of ?long-term target Allan and would likely only move for Partey should they fail to convince Napoli to sell.
Likelihood rating: 2/10