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Chelsea ‘could’ beat Arsenal to Thomas Partey as Declan Rice alternative — reports

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Atlético Madrid midfielder in demand

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SD Huesca v Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Thomas Partey has been linked with Arsenal practically all summer, but even after Arsenal have reportedly agreed to send Lucas Torreira on loan to Atlético Madrid, the 27-year-old Partey doesn’t look any closer to becoming a Gunner.

Atléti are reportedly holding out for the full buyout on the midfielder, said to be £45m, which may be a bit too rich for Arsenal (see also: Lyon’s €50m asking price on Houssem Aouar).

But that £45m buyout clause may not be too rich for a certain other London team, especially when our prime target may have a price tag nearly twice that much. With West Ham holding out for upwards of £70-80m on Declan Rice (“Bank of England money”, as Hammers boss David Moyes put it earlier this summer), Partey just might be an attractive alternative.

As reported by both the Telegraph and the Guardian, Chelsea “could” explore this option in the remaining 48-72 hours of the transfer window, especially as we’ve apparently had some of our scouts on assignment in Madrid over recent months.

Despite a summer of great change, the midfield has remained largely untouched. Ross Barkley has been loaned out, and while we do have N’Golo Kanté and Ruben Loftus-Cheek healthy, the latter is not ready for prime time yet and the former has had a series of injuries over the past year and a half and certainly could use some help either way. We have plenty of passers and creators, but not all that many to put in the work off the ball. And that’s where Declan Rice ... or Thomas Partey? ... could make a ton of sense.

Certainly a potentially quite intriguing situation to watch, regardless of what does or doesn’t happen. (Could Jorginho, amusingly linked with Arsenal as well lately, factor in somehow, too?)