Juventus have made an audacious attempt to prise Thomas Partey away from Arsenal as the Gunners look to bring Arthur Melo to north London this January.
Mikel Arteta is in desperate need of a short-term fix in midfield with his current senior options limited to Granit Xhaka, who’s currently suspended, and the inexperienced Albert Sambi Lokonga. Partey and Mohamed Elneny are away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles departed for Rome earlier this month.
Arsenal woes, compounded by COVID and Xhaka’s recklessness, led to the postponement of Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham after the Premier League accepted the Gunners’ request.
In terms of mitigating their current midfield shortage, Arteta has identified metronomic Juve midfielder Arthur as a potential loan option.
Juventus have attempted to bring Thomas Partey to Turin amid discussions over Arthur Melo
Arsenal have made contact with Juventus over Arthur but the Bianconeri will not sell the Brazilian unless they bring in a replacement this month. Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimarães is well-liked by the Bianconeri but a summer move appears more likely, while links to impending free agent Denis Zakaria have gone cold.
Cheekily, the Italian giants sought another alternative. According to Sky Sports Italia (via @JuveFC), Juve audaciously asked whether Arsenal would be interested in exchanging Ghanaian midfielder Partey for Arthur.
Unsurprisignly, this move has already been ruled out. It’d be totally illogical on Arsenal’s behalf.
Talks are set to continue between the two clubs with Fabrizio Romano describing next week as “key”. Romano also ruled out Juve pursuing Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek as a potential replacement for the Brazilian.
Arthur was in action for Juventus on Saturday as he started the Bianconeri’s 2-0 victory over a depleted Udinese in Serie A. The Brazilian only lasted 45 minutes, however, as Massimiliano Allegri brought him off at half-time after the midfielder was booked midway through the first half.
The Juve boss has shown over the past week that he’s still happy to use Arthur despite his strong links with a move away. That might suggest the manager is expecting the Brazilian to remain on his books for the remainder of the season.