Arsenal eye Thomas Partey replacement as Edu contact already made in four-way transfer battle

Monaco's French midfielder #19 Youssouf Fofana celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the French L1 football match between Montpellier Herault SC and AS Monaco at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, southern France, on May 12, 2024.
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images))

Arsenal have identified another potential Thomas Partey replacement with the midfielder expected to depart this summer. Despite a promising end to the 2023/24 season, Partey remains likely to leave the Gunners over the next few months with injury problems plaguing his last few campaigns.

With Mikel Arteta's side fighting for the Premier League title, Partey started six of the last nine games which perfectly showed his importance. "We need him because he's a top player, a very important player for us and you can see on the pitch as well what kind of impact he can have for us," Arteta said in a press conference.

"He's our player, he's got one more year's contract and I'm really happy with him." Despite that admission and the 30-year-old's desire to stay, selling Partey is probably the best outcome for both parties with a move to Saudi Arabia likely.

Considering Arsenal's internal exit stance on Partey being known for some time, the Gunners have already targeted several potential midfield replacements. Martin Zubimendi, Bruno Guimaraes, Joshua Kimmich and Amadou Onana have all been linked with a stunning new update on the latter's future at Everton made clear recently.

While those four names have been of interest to Arsenal for some time, links to AS Monaco's Youssouf Fofana have gathered pace with the 25-year-old expected to leave France this summer. “He [Fofana] is probably one of the players that we are open to selling. We will see the opportunities that he has,” club CEO Thiago Scuro revealed last month via Get French Football News.

Following his superb season at Monaco, interest is strong in acquiring his services with Arsenal joined by AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in having already made contact with the players' representatives, according to a report from L’Équipe.

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Fofana is said to be valued at just €30million (£26m) because his contract expires next summer but that price could increase if several clubs enter a bidding war. The France international has already offered an update on his future but he was coy on confirming his final decision with the expectation his future will be resolved after the European championships.

"We haven’t yet spoken about it with the sporting director," he told Get French Football News in April. "He will allow me to finish the season so that there aren’t too many things in my head and if I then go to the Euros with the France national team, we will speak about it upon my return. We haven’t dwelt on it."