ATLÉTICO

Thomas Partey's father: "My son's told me he's in talks with Arsenal"

Jacob Partey confirmed that there has been contact between the Gunners and Thomas: "The rumours are true. It all depend on what Atlético have to offer".

"After hearing the rumours, I called my son and he told me they're all true," Jacob Partey, the father of Thomas confirmed today on Entsie en Tru FM  that not only is the interest from Arsenal real but that contact has also been established. "He told me that they are in talks, him and  Arsenal. It all depends on what Atlético have to offer," the midfielder's father added.

Atlético have placed an offer on the table, to renew terms and boost his salary but as things stand, the Ghanaian hasn't signed and could leave the club for 50 million euros, a bargain for a player of his quality. From what Thomas' father has said about his situation, there was one phrase which Atleti fans will dread hearing: "What they are discussing now is how Atlético might let him leave".

For Simeone, losing Thomas would be a massive blow. He is a key cog in the workings of his team - a player who is parctically irreplaceable. Last season, when Thomas partnered Rodrigo Hernández in the centre of the park, Simeone made it clear to the Atleti board how he felt when Manchester City came knocking. "The player whose place is not up for discussion and who is not for sale, is Thomas". That is the case more than ever now. But Thomas' future in Madrid is more up in the air than it has ever been. Jacob Partey can see his son doing well under Mikel Arteta. "Arsenal would be good for him, they have lots of followers in Ghana. He'd been happy if he went to Arsenal".

Champions League qualification, the key to keeping Thomas

Atlético need to make sure they qualify for next season's Champions League, a competition which has enabled them rake in 70 million euros in revenue this season. The last thing they want is to be forced to sell one of their star players to boost cashflow.  Stars which Premier League clubs would take in a shot - like Saúl, who Manchester United are keen to signand Thomas Partey, who is on Arsenal's wish list. Today's declarations Partey Senior will doubtless worry Atleti, and forced them to make Thomas' contract renewal, the one which has been lying on the table since October, a priority.