So far, Atletico had been maintaining that Partey was not for sale and that the only way Arsenal could sign him was if they paid his £45m release clause.
The Gunners have already reportedly had two bids rejected for Partey, with The Express also reporting that Atletico had straightaway rejected a part-swap deal which included Matteo Guendouzi.
But according to AS, Atletico Madrid are in talks with Espanyol to sign their midfielder Marc Roca. Arsenal will be hoping that the Roca deal being completed would lead to Atletico Madrid being a bit more flexible about the Partey deal.
Roca, a midfielder, had attracted interest from the likes of Bayern Munich and AC Milan last summer, but stayed put at Espanyol. He is likely to be hot property this summer, with the Catalan club having been relegated from La Liga last season.
AS also said that Atletico are favourites to sign Roca, and have a good relationship with Espanyol, having signed centre-back Mario Hermoso from them last last summer.
As it stands though, Partey looks set to stay at Atletico, unless something drastically changes. Arsenal are still said to be unwilling to cough up £45m for his signature.
Teammate hopes Thomas Partey doesn't move to Arsenal
Partey's Atletico Madrid team-mate Kieran Trippier doesn't want to see his the Ghanaian midfielder move to Arsenal.
Trippier told The Beautiful Game Podcast, "I’d seen him play for Atletico but I didn’t realise how good he is. It’s unbelievable, his physicality, how he breaks up play. Technically, he’s got everything.
"Thomas is still very young and everybody loves him out here.
“Going to the Premier League… who knows? Obviously I want him to stay here because he’s a valuable member to our team. But I feel like he speaks perfect English. I don’t think he’d have a problem with the Premier League.”
Arsenal have already signed a player in this transfer window, with Willian moving across London, on a free transfer from Chelsea. The Gunners have also confirmed permanent deals for defenders Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares.
They start their new season with the FA Community Shield on Saturday, when they take on Premier League champions Liverpool at Wembley.
Published 27 Aug 2020, 15:16 IST