Gossip: Arsenal’s strategy to land £99m duo; more Mendes ‘magic’

Conflicting but optimistic reports on Aouar and Partey to Arsenal and Jorge Mendes is doing it again…

A PARTEY AND AN AOUAR-FUL MESS
Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar remain Mikel Arteta’s top transfer targets; he still wants both to join the club to add steel and creativity to his Arsenal midfield.

The Gunners have offered up the likes of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi as makeweights, but both Atletico Madrid or Lyon have made it clear they don’t want the Arsenal cast-offs to be part of those deals.

The Arsenal hierarchy were hoping to drive the asking prices of Partey and Aouar down through negotiation, with their respective release clauses standing at £45million and £54million respectively.

With spending nearly £100million on the pair currently sitting somewhere between unlikely and impossible, the Athletic claim Arsenal will move for Partey first before targeting Aouar ‘should the funds become available’.

Those funds will have to come through player sales to other clubs, with Guendouzi and Torreira the most likely candidates to garner decent sums.

Atletico have somehow persuaded Juventus to take Alvaro Morata off their wage bill. The striker has moved to Serie A on a season-long loan for around £8.2million, with the Old Lady having an option of making the deal permanent for a further £41.3m to take the total potential fee to £49.5m. Does no-one ever watch him play?

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Anyway, this means the La Liga club have no financial need to sell another one of their top assets, according to Fabrizio Romano, meaning they can afford to hold out for the full £45million for Partey.

Le 10 Sport however, claim it is Aouar – not Partey – who the Gunners are moving for first, with the report claiming they have made a fresh bid for the playmaker.

The Premier League side have already reportedly ‘agreed terms’ with the 22-year-old, but they have had a £31.2million bid rejected last week and have now upped their offer.

The Telegraph have thrown another spanner in the works though, claiming a Champions League club are also in the running.

But that report suggests Arsenal could ‘lean on’ the relationship between Edu and compatriot Juninho, Lyon’s sporting director.

And breathe. Any the wiser? Me neither.

MENDES MAGIC
Jorge Mendes is ‘about to work his magic’ once again for Wolves, as he attempts to ‘facilitate’ a move for Douglas Costa, who looks set for the Juventus exit.

Tuttosport claim the Brazilian is not part of Andrea Pirlo’s plans and will be allowed to leave the club.

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With Diogo Jota moving to Liverpool, Nuno Espirito Santo is hoping to add reinforcements in wide areas before the end of the transfer window.

While a move for a player who is not Portuguese or at least playing in Portugal is a bit off the wall for the super-agent, he is Brazilian, so Costa speaks Portuguese, at least.

GOT MILIK?
Fulham and Newcastle have joined the race for Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, joining the likes of Tottenham and Roma in chasing his signature.

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is said to be frustrated with both Milik and Roma due to the nature of their negotiations so far.

The Poland international is currently valued at €25million, but that may be lowered should interested clubs meet Milik’s wage demands.

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