Arsenal's pursuit of Thomas Partey has reportedly hit a wall after it has become apparent that Atletico Madrid will not waver in their £45 million valuation of the player.
Atletico Madrid have, in the past, adopted a strong release clause or no-sale policy when it comes to top stars in their stable. According to reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano, there is a similar policy in play regarding Thomas Partey's potential transfer to the London club.
However, due to the constrictions imposed by the COVID-hit economy and the transfer business Arsenal have already done - including a bumper contract in the works for goal machine Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - it is assumed that the club won't be able to afford Thomas Partey's release clause unless there are more funds raised through player sales.
The likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are on the shop window but haven't been sold yet.
Arsenal target Mounir Chouiar as hopes of Partey deal diminish
The Daily Star claims that the London club have shifted priorities and want to try and sign Mounir Chouiar, a promising young French winger from Dijon.
Chouiar, 21, made 28 appearances in the recently concluded 2019/20 season, scoring 8 goals and providing 2 assists. However, the report claims that Arsenal will face competition for his signature from Leeds United.
Marcelo Bielsa's newly-promoted side gave an astute account of itself against reigning champions Liverpool in their first fixture back in the top flight, going on to lose a see-saw encounter 4-3.
However, the team has improved leaps and bounds under the legendary Argentinian manager and has already done smart business in the transfer window, purchasing the likes of Spanish marksman Rodrigo, permanently signing winger Helder Costa and bringing back Manchester City starlet Jack Harrison on loan for another season.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, stated that he is still looking for key additions to add balance to the squad.
"We are still active in the market, we are looking at different options. At the moment, the squad balance is not ideal."
"There is still some work to do. Numbers-wise, some positions are overbooked. Some others, in terms of the specific qualities we need, are still not there."