Join a Champions League club not Arsenal – Ex-Fulham star tells Partey
Ex-Fulham midfielder, Derek Boateng believes Premier League side Arsenal is not the right club now for in-demand countryman Thomas Partey to join this summer.
According to the retired Ghana international, Partey should be considering a club that matches his status as a Uefa Champions League player if he is to leave Spain at the end of the current season.
Over the past few months, the Gunners have been strongly reported to be keen on signing the Atletico Madrid midfield powerhouse – and are now said to be set to triple his wages.
Spanish outlet Diario AS claim Arsenal will make Partey – who has a £45m release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract – one of their highest earners as they target a new-look midfield for next season.
The 27-year-old’s contract does not end until 2023, but if he agrees to an extension, it would double his salary and also increase his release clause to just above £90m (€100m).
But talks over that new contract have stalled and the money being talked about by Arsenal could see a move being completed in August.
Partey is understood to be keen to join Mikel Arteta’s side but Boateng says a transfer to Arsenal, who are currently struggling to secure even a Europa League ticket for next season, could be disastrous.
“He [Thomas Partey] needs to be at a place where he will be happy, respected and get a lot of playing time.
“You can make all the money you want but if the coach doesn’t play you, you won’t be happy,” Boateng, who featured for Fulham in the 2013/14 season, told Joy FM.
“I will not advise him [Partey] to move to Arsenal right now because he is a Champions League player and with the look of the Arsenal team right now, they are not ready with the kind of players they have and some are going to move.
“They are playing very well but you can see the inexperience hurting them and with the way the Premier League is going right now, it is going to be really tough.
“If he wants to move, he has to move to a team that plays in the Champions League otherwise he will lose everything,” Boateng added.
Meanwhile, Italian Serie A side Napoli are also chasing Partey and could offer Poland international Arkadiusz Milik in a player-plus-cash swap.
Thomas Partey has made over 180 appearances for Atletico Madrid, scoring 15 goals.